Nursing in 1956: “I was a student in a segregated hospital”


Murray Brown came to Grady as a nursing student in the class of 1956 when classrooms and hospitals were still segregated. Brown’s first experiences on rotation weren’t just filled with the usual anxieties of a new nurse, they were also charged with hostility from the men and women to whom she was providing care for — patients who had never seen a black nurse.

“…one day I got good and disgusted and I says, ‘I’m quittin’. I don’t want to be no nurse no more.’ Every weekend I packed my clothes and I said I was going home…”

– Murray Brown via Storycorps

Find out how Brown managed to hold on. Listen to the full story on the Storycorps podcast:


StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to the weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and StoryCorps' Listen pages.

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