Some may not know how much of a part African-Americans played in the Civil War, but the National Library of Medicine has produced an exhibit to shed light on their work in the health field during that time.
“Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries” explores black Americans’ contributions as nurses, surgeons and hospital staff during the war.
According to the National Library of Medicine, for African-Americans, the Civil War was “a fight for freedom and a chance for full participation in American society.”
“Their participation challenged the prescribed notions of both race and gender and pushed the boundaries of the role of blacks in America,” the site reads.
The traveling exhibit will stop first at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, a fitting start, considering that one of the exhibit’s main focuses is New Bedford native William P. Powell. Powell, who served as a contract Union surgeon during the war.
Jill L. Newmark, the exhibit’s curator, said the project “brings a voice to those that have remained silent for nearly 150 years.”
The free, eight-panel exhibit will stop in 47 locations throughout the next several years. After New Bedford, Massachussetts, it will move on to other cities, including New Orleans, New York, Memphis and Washington, D.C.
Follow Ugonna on Twitter at @ugonnaokpalaoka