TRAILBLAZER: Negro Nurse in the American Red Cross by Jean M. Pitrone

TRAILBLAZER: Negro Nurse in the American Red Cross

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A completely uncritical biography of Frances Elliott Davis, a ""quadroon"" whose relatively light coloring and impeccable credentials enabled her to integrate the Red Cross nursing staff in 1916. The ""Trailblazer"" designation suggests a misleading degree of initiative because the Red Cross staff was equally interested at the time, intending blacks to serve their own (in North Carolina, but not necessarily in less socially stratified areas of the country). Furthermore, throughout a long career (not always with the Red Cross) she seems as preoccupied with Frances as with racial frontiers; the impression one gets from the author's roundabout explanations is of a well developed (and not unjustifiable--just unacknowledged) sense of self-importance. At a time when ""firsts"" are epidemic, a spongy source of inspiration.

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 1969
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World