In the early twentieth century, Missouri’s hospitals engaged in discriminatory practices. Frustrated by lack of care and educational opportunities, Black leaders sought to establish racially segregated facilities to meet their community’s needs. In 1937, Homer G. Phillips Hospital opened its doors to African American students and patients in St. Louis. Located at 2601 Whittier Street, the hospital became a pillar of the Black community.
Lula Hall’s nursing school cap and uniform represent the history of Missouri’s segregated hospitals. In 1956, nursing students, like Lula Hall, could be found proudly wearing their white cap and blue dress with white pinafores, cuffs, and collar as they tended to patients at Homer G. Phillips Hospital. Her uniform stands as a reminder of the many Black women who were able to earn a career in nursing due to the opening of the segregated Homer G. Phillips Hospital.
Creator: Julian Kay Company (New York City, NY)
Subject: Nursing, Nursing schools, Healthcare, Hospitals
Contributing Institution: Missouri Historical Society
Accession Number: 2016-072-0001, 2016-072-0002
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County: St. Louis City
Region: St. Louis Metro