black history month: day 1

February 1, 2010

Mrs. Mary Francis Hill Coley (“Miss Mary”) was the midwife featured in Stoney’s 1952 documentary <em>All My Babies.</em> Credit: George C. Stoney, 1952.

Mary Frances Hill Coley

In the south during the times of segregation lived a woman people called Miss Mary.

It was by her hands that many babies were born.

Over 3,000 people say.

She, like many other women of her time learned the art of midwifing.

In 1953 a film was produced by the Georgia Department of Public Health that featured Miss Mary.

The short film was used to educated prospective midwives as to what they should know.

Not a seminar.

A film.

This film was selected by the Librarian of Congress in 2002 to be permanently preserved in the National Film Registry.

I own a copy of this film and I must say that Im quite pleased that I do.

It sheds a little light into what was probably one of the most uncomfortabe times to be in need of a physician if you were black.

Especially black and pregnant.

Your only hope would be someone like Miss Mary.

What I found interesting was seeing how little people used in those days.

With a few items Miss Mary helped bring a baby.

While the hospitals use half of NASA when you go to them.

Happy Black History Month Miss Mary.

Wherever you are.

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