Monday, February 27, 2017
#BlackHistoryMonth Moment: #MaryElizaMahoney 1st Black Professional nurse!
The GAMUTT is still celebrating the strength, courage and CONTRIBUTION of OUTSTANDING African-Americans in history!
Mary Eliza Mahoney (May 7, 1845 – January 4, 1926) was the first African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States, graduating in 1879. Mahoney was one of the first African Americans to graduate from a nursing school, and she prospered in a predominantly white society. She also challenged discrimination against African Americans in nursing.
In 1908, Mahoney co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) with Adah B. Thoms. This organization attempted to uplift the standards and everyday lives of African-American registered nurses. The NACGN had a significant influence on eliminating racial discrimination in the registered nursing profession. In 1951, the NACGN merged with the American Nurses Association.
Mahoney has received many honors and awards for her pioneering work. She was inducted into the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame in 1976 and to the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993.
Mary Eliza Mahoney was born on May 7, 1845 (some sources say April 16, 1845), in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. After working for several years as a private-duty nurse at Boston's New England Hospital for Women and Children, in 1878, Mahoney was admitted to the hospital's nursing program.
Pioneer of Nursing and Voting
The following year, Mary Mahoney made history when she became the first black woman to complete nurse's training. Subsequently, she became one of the first black members of the Nurses Associated Alumnae of the United States and Canada (later renamed the American Nurses Association), as well as a member of the newly founded National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses.
In addition to her pioneering efforts in nursing, Mahoney has been credited as one of the first women to register to vote in Boston following the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting women's suffrage, on August 26, 1920.
Later Life and Career
In the early 1900s, Mahoney relocated to Long Island, New York, to serve a stint as supervisor of the Howard Orphan Asylum for Black Children, returning to Massachusetts thereafter.
Mahoney was inducted into the Nursing Hall of Fame in 1976 and received induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993. She died in Boston on January 4, 1926, at the age of 80.
WE SALUTE Mary Eliza Mahoney! Black HIstory is ALL OF OUR HISTORY!!