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represents the first part of a planned study of black health care professionals and black health.It is devoted to nurses because Darlene Clark Hine found them more crucial to health care in the black community than physicians.JACOB'S ROOM IS FULL OF BOOKS is a monthly diary of books read and re-read, anecdotes and nature notes.'"There's the drowned churches and the swallowed-up village," he chuckled.The early NACGN showed some of the elitism abounding in the new white nurses' organizations of the era, but it also attacked discrimination against black nurses and promoted plans for nursing service to black communities.
Did the differences in experience and outlook that divided elite and rank and file among white nurses exist among black nurses, or were they unified by whites' racism and their communal loyalty?
Hine has delved deeply and imaginatively in published and archival sources and recent works in nursing history.
Her work has a breadth and analytical focus lacking in previous histories of African Americans in nursing, all written by insiders.
Hine shows the impact of racism on black nurses, yet her relentless focus on institutions and a tendency to adopt, rather than explain, the points of view espoused by their leaders obscures two important topics: the nursing experience of black women in white (relegated mainly to one chapter late in the book) and their distinctive response to racism. Black hospitals and nurse-training schools need to be compared with other local black organizations, the NACGN in its successive phases with other national race-betterment and protest organizations and with other professional nurses' organizations.
Placing the NACGN in those two contexts might help explain its unusual decision to disband.