The Oral Histories
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The Oral Histories

This page lists the individuals who participated in the project.  Feel free to explore their stories through the online text and audio clips. We present excerpts here, but complete transcripts are available from the repository libraries.

Willaim G. Anderson
William G. Anderson
Physician
Excerpt:   Defines osteopathic medicine and discusses his role in the Civil Rights Movement
Biography

Reginald P. Ayala
Reginald P. Ayala
Hospital Administrator
Excerpt 1:   Institutional racism/discrimination in health care in Detroit
Excerpt 2:  Observations regarding the demise of black proprietary hospitals
Arthur W. Boddie
Arthur W. Boddie
Physician
Excerpt 1: Talks about hospital integration in Detroit
Excerpt 2: Discusses the Fight for Freedom Dinner
Biography
Wilma Brakefield-Caldwell
Wilma Brakefield-Caldwell
Public Health Nurse Administrator
Excerpt: Discusses the importance of education for improving community health
Biography
Henry Bryant
Henry Bryant Jr.
Physician
Talks about other African American physicians in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area and whether there should be African American hospitals
Biography
Alice Burton
Alice Burton
Community resident, widow of DeWitt T. Burton, co-founder of Burton Memorial Hospital

Excerpt: Talks about Burton Mercy Hospital as an example of the demise of black hospitals. Narrator recalls her feeling about the hospital being torn down.
Biography
Waldo L. Cain
Waldo L. Cain
Physician
Excerpt 1: Discusses technologically inferior black hospitals
Excerpt 2: Discusses how African American physicians forced hospitals to begin reform
Biography
James W. Collins
James W. Collins
Physician
Excerpt: Talks about role models and their influence on his education
Biography
Claude and Vivienne Cooper
Claude and Vivienne Cooper
Pharmacists
Excerpt: Talks about the limited professional opportunities available for blacks who were pharmacists during the 1940s-60s
Biography
Gladys B. Dillard
Gladys B. Dillard
Public Health Nurse
Excerpt: Discusses segregation in nursing education and being the first African American nursing graduate of Wayne State University
Biography
George Gaines
George Gaines Jr.
Clinical/Medical Social Worker
Excerpt: Discusses the political implications of the bed-reduction plan during the early 1970s
Biography
Leon Gant
Leon Gant
Dentist
Excerpt: Discusses increasing minority enrollment in dentistry and the underlying quota system in the 1970s
Biography
Herman J. Glass, Sr.
Herman J. Glass Sr.
Hospital Administrator
Excerpt:  Individual counter-actions made against segregation in "white" institutions
Biography
Delta Goodwin
Della Goodwin
Nurse and Dean
Excerpt: Discusses hospital bed reduction in southeastern Michigan and the founding location of Southwest Detroit Hospital
Biography
Joseph B. Harris, D.D.S.
Joseph B. Harris
Dentist
Excerpt: Gives some insight into the use of alternative and home remedies for dental care by some Detroit residents, as well as some of the folklore behind such uses.
Biography
 
Frank P. Iacobell
Hospital Administrator
Excerpt: Discusses implementing job training and advancement programs for unionized, primarily minority, employees at Hutzel Hospital during the early 1960s
Biography
Horace L. Jefferson  
Horace L. Jefferson
Dentist
Excerpt: Discusses some of his educational experiences at the University of Michigan as well as the attitudes people held about black hospitals
Biography
Sidney B. Jenkins  
Sidney B. Jenkins
Psychiatrist
Excerpt: Discusses the involvement of an African American proprietary hospital in the establishment of a community mental health center
Biography
Arthur Johnson, Ph.D.
Arthur Johnson
Director, NAACP
Excerpt:   Institutional racism/discrimination in health care in Detroit
Biography
 
Rachel B. Keith
Rachel B. Keith
Physician
Excerpt 1: Discusses some of the reasons African Americans are reluctant to participate in research
Excerpt 2: Discusses her ingredient for success as a physician
Biography
William E. Lawson
William E. Lawson
Optometrist
Excerpt: Discusses the establishment of the Optometric Institute and Center of Detroit
Biography
Josephine Love
Josephine Love
Museum Director; widow of William Thomas Love, Asst. Medical Examiner
Excerpt: Discusses the Seminar Society founded by her late husband and the relationship African American physicians had with the community
Biography
Hayward Maben, Jr.
Hayward Maben Jr.
Physician
Excerpt: Discusses some of his undergraduate and professional medical experiences
Biography
Berna C. Mason
Berna C. Mason
State of Michigan, Office of Financial and Administrative Service
Excerpt: Discusses her relationship with Mother Bracey, an informal neighborhood health provider
Biography
Suesetta T. McCree
Suesetta T. McCree
Occupational Therapist
Excerpt: Discusses the field of occupational therapy and some of her educational experiences
Biography
Dorothy Mottley
Public Health Nurse
Excerpt:  Opinions/observations regarding the demise of black proprietary hospitals
Biography
 
David C. Northcross, Jr.  
David C. Northcross Jr.
Physician
Excerpt: Discusses his parents' hospital, Mercy General
Biography
Ophelia B. Northcross  
Ophelia B. Northcross
Nurse and Hospital Administrator
Excerpt: Discusses her migration to Detroit and racial discrimination in finding employment in health care
Biography
Marjorie Peebles-Meyers, M.D.
Marjorie Peebles-Meyers
Physician
Excerpt: Discusses how her medical school experience was affected by her African American identity
Biography
 
Frank P. Raiford, III
Frank P. Raiford III
Physician
Excerpt: Talks about his educational experiences at the University of Michigan
Biography
The Reverend Garther Roberson, Jr.
Garther Roberson Jr.
Minister
Excerpt: Talks about the support system in place to help family members who migrated from the South to Ypsilanti
Biography
The Reverend Doctor S.L. Roberson
S.L. Roberson
Minister
Excerpt: Discusses the connection between health and religious beliefs
Biography
 
Photograph
Not available
Elsie Smith
Community resident
Excerpt: Discusses attitudes and beliefs about health held by some African Americans which may be passed on to other generations
Biography
Fannie L. Starks
Fannie L. Starks
Nurse
Excerpt: Discusses segregation in medical/nursing education and the quality of care in black hospitals
Biography
Lionel F. Swan
Lionel F. Swan
Physician
Excerpt: Discusses whether integration caused the demise of black hospitals in Detroit
Biography
Natalia M. Tanner
Natalia M. Tanner
Physician
Excerpt: Discusses some of her educational experiences at Meharry Medical College and her professional experience with black hospitals in Detroit
Biography
Dr. Oretta Mae Todd, Ph.D.
Oretta Mae Todd
Nurse and Dean
Excerpt:  Individual counter-actions made against segregation in "white" institutions
Biography
I. Clara Webb
I. Clara Webb
Nurse
Excerpt: Discusses the perceptions and attitudes of patients toward black nurses, as well as the racial mix among patients and employees at Harper Hospital
Biography
Charles F. Whitten
Charles F. Whitten
Physician
Excerpt: Talks about organizing the community program on sickle cell disease in Detroit
Biography
Dr. Charles H. Wright, M.D.
Charles H. Wright
Physician
Excerpt:   Individual counter-actions made against segregation in "white" institutions
Biography
Dr. Watson Young, M.D.
Watson Young
Physician
Excerpt:  Observations regarding the demise of black proprietary hospitals
Biography
Transcripts of the interviews 

Transcripts of the interviews have been deposited at the Bentley Historical Library (The University of Michigan); Walter P. Reuther Library (Wayne State University); Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit; the Burton Historical Collection (Detroit Public Library); and The Center for Afro-American and African Studies (The University of Michigan).

These transcripts are made available with the understanding that:
The researcher will be mindful that even though these oral history transcripts have been edited and checked for proper spellings, that all names, etc. should be double checked prior to publication.
Proper credit must be given to the University of Michigan Medical School and the principal investigators in citing these oral history interviews.
Each narrator voluntarily participated in the conduct of this research. The interviews were conducted after obtaining written permission from each narrator. Also, written consent from each narrator and interviewer to release this information (including the audio tapes, the tape transcripts, and the supplementary materials) was obtained following their review of the tape transcription. Both the permission to participate and the consent to release the research products, along with any restrictions or special conditions regarding such release, are on file at the University of Michigan and included in this collection.

Note to Researchers: Oral Histories as Evidence

The same ethical considerations that apply to the interviewing process are required in using the oral history product in writing and publishing. Oral histories are subject to the same rigorous standards as other research methodologies. The author's job is to analyze and interpret oral histories, just like other reference data, and not merely allow the stories to "speak for themselves." Precise citations should always be given for interviews, as with all other primary sources. The interviewing methodology employed should be explained in the paper, just as in the case of social scientific research.

Qualitative information is used to illustrate quantitative data, fill in the missing gaps, or entirely contradict the statistics on the topic. Oral history narratives contribute the "human dimension" to the research, making hard data meaningful, yet simultaneously creating complexities that may prevent definite conclusions.
All subjective information should be backed up with hard data. Double-check the accuracy of a story and avoid claiming it as factual; it is a certain individual's personal reflection of a past event, filtered through time and memory. Place the stories and anecdotes within their context and explain what factors influenced the question and shaped the response. How does an individual response compare with those of others in the group studied? How does the information compare to the public record or previous research on the topic?

Oral History Association
National Conference, Philadelphia, PA
9 October 1997

 

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Copyright , Kellogg African American Health Care Project, 2000.
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