A Hidden History: African Women and the British Health Service, 1930-2000

The Young Historians Project present “A Hidden History: African Women and the British Health Service, 1930-2000

The Society for the Social History of Medicine(SSHM) is delighted to introduce a new series of public events, free of charge, that will follow on the work started at our Anti-racism Workshop, organised in July 2022 with funding from the Wellcome Trust.

For our first event The Young Historians Project (YHP) will present their research “A Hidden History: African Women and the British Health Service, 1930-2000”, followed by Prof Jonathan Reinarz, who will provide a short commentary. The session will leave plenty of time for questions from the audience.

Abstracts and bios:

Young Historians Project, “A Hidden History: African Women and the British Health Service, 1930-2000”

Recruitment for the British health service from the colonies of the British Empire began in the period after the Second World War. However, nurses, doctors and other medical professionals trained in Britain before this, as higher education was generally not available in the colonies. Despite their long history of work within the health service in Britain, the role of African women is rarely highlighted in discussions of the history of the NHS or of health work more generally. As current narratives on black women in the British health service tend to focus on ‘Windrush generation’ Caribbean contributions, this project will cover new ground and expand the understanding of this history. This project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and will be undertaken in partnership with Ghana Nurses Association, Nigerian Nurses Charitable Association and the Black Cultural Archives.

Young Historians Project are a non-profit organisation formed by young people encouraging the development of young historians of African and Caribbean heritage in Britain. We’re a team of young people aged 16-25 working on dynamic projects, documenting pivotal and often overlooked historical moments. We hope that through this and future projects more young people of African and Caribbean heritage will rediscover history and develop the skills to become the historians of the future. Each one, Teach one.

Jonathan Reinarz is the Director of The History of Medicine Unit and Professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Birmingham. Jonathan has published extensively on the history of hospitals and medical education, including a history of the Birmingham teaching hospitals (2009), the history of the senses, especially smell, and the history of accidents, including burns and scalds.

This event is online via Zoom – meeting details will be sent to all registered before the event and you can sign up here

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