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Black History Celebration: Library and Special Guests to Honor African American Trailblazers in Civil War Medicine

By: Marcey Wright

 African Americans in Civil War MedicineTo celebrate Black History Month and those who made it possible, Memphis Public Libraries are “pushing boundaries” with traveling exhibit – Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine.

Often lost from the pages of history, the names and faces of early African American physicians, surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare providers will be on display at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) from Saturday, February 8 – Saturday, March 29, 2014.

An official opening ceremony will be held Thursday, February 20, 2014, 6 pm – 7:30 pm, also at Central Library. Special guest author, historian, and Civil Rights activist Dr. Miriam DeCosta-Willis will be keynote speaker. LeMoyne-Owen College’s concert choir is set to perform for the Black History Month celebration.

Contraband working for the Union Army; Photo courtesy of MOLLUS U.S. Military History Institute

Through the tell-all exhibit and Dr. DeCosta-Willis’ presentation, Library customers will meet people like former slave-turned-caregiver Susie King, who in 1862 served the Union Army as an unpaid Civil War nurse, teacher, and laundress, alongside her husband – a soldier. She later published her memoirs, detailing her struggles to help emancipate enslaved African Americans.

Click here for more information about the Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries exhibit.

For more information on the exhibit’s opening ceremony at Central Library, call (901) 415-2709.