Nurses In The Civil Rights Movement

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Phoebe Ann Pollitt PhD, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:

Abstract: A black student at a “whites-only” Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina; a Freedom Rider in Jackson, Mississippi; a participant in the March on Washington; a community organizer for the Freedom Summer; two marchers from Selma to Montgomery—one a black nun, the other a white activist murdered by the Ku Klux Klan. What these women have in common—in addition to being dedicated civil rights activists—is that they were nurses. One hundred years after slavery African Americans in the South were still subject to the Jim Crow laws that banned them from using public, tax-supported, “whites-only” facilities—including schools, libraries, parks, and hospitals. In the 1950s and 1960s, as increasing numbers of Americans became aware of these injustices, the desire for racial equality reached its peak and the civil rights movement was born. This article highlights the experiences of five nurses and one nursing student who joined tens of thousands of other citizens in taking a stand for social justice.

Additional Information

Pollitt, Phoebe (2016). "Nurses in the Civil Rights Movement." AJN, American Journal of Nursing: June 2016 - Volume 116 - Issue 6 - p 50–57. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000484231.55116.8e. Publisher version of record available at: NC Docks re-print is not the final published version.
Language: English
Date: 2016
Clara Adams-Ender, Claire O'Connor, Rachel Robinson, Freedom Summer, Selma, Civil Rights Movement, Nursing

Email this document to