Trailblazing Against Tradition: The Public History of Desegregation at the University of Virginia 1955-1975. Atima Omara-Alwala (UVA Class of 2003) created this online exhibit to tell the history of Black student experiences at UVA from 1955 to 1975. The site includes a historical timeline, biographical profiles, and historical narratives. The project was funded by a Student Research Award from the David A. Harrison undergraduate Research Award Fund.
Below is a list of books, articles, and presentations related to the history of segregation and discrimination at UVA Health from 1901 to 1965. The list is arranged in chronological order.
Barksdale, J.W. (1949). A Comparative Study of Contemporary White and Negro Standards in Health, Education and Welfare Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia M.A. Thesis.
Moll, W. and Savitt, T.L. (July and September 1975). The Early Years of the University of Virginia Hospital: An Analysis of Patient's Records. Virginia Medical Monthly. Richmond, Va.: Medical Society of Virginia.
Savitt, T.L. (1998). Medicine, Race, and the Discovery of Sickle Cell Anemia: 1910-1911 in Chicago and Charlottesville. History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series. Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia.
Jones, J.H., Lombardo, P.A., Childress, M.D. (1999). After the Apology: The Lingering Shadow of Tuskegee in American Medicine. Medical Center Hour Series. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia.
Jordan, E.L., Apprey, M., Poe (editor), S.M. (editor). (2017). The Key to the Door: Experiences of Early African American Students at the University of Virginia. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Press.
Tucker, V. (2019). Race and Place in Virginia: The Case of Nursing. Nursing History Review, 28(1), 143-157. (A case study of the educational and professional life of Mavis Claytor.)
This is a list of known oral histories and interviews arranged in chronological order that document the history of the segregation and discrimination at UVA Health from 1901 to 1965. Whenever possible, we include a direct link to an online version of the resource. When that is not possible, we provide a link to a catalog record that will indicate how you can access the resource at one of the University of Virginia's libraries.
Oral History Interview of Colgate W. Darden, 1972: Colgate Darden was a former politician and Virginia governor who served as the President of the University of Virginia from 1947 to 1959. During his tenure as President, Darden did not resist the admission of Black students to the School of Medicine, but he did not otherwise advocate for desegregation. He did not support the desegregation of patient facilities at UVA Hospital, instead, he advocated for the improvement of segregated Black spaces according to the racist "separate but equal" position shared by many White southerners at the time. In this oral history, Darden recounts his political career and his tenure as UVA President.
Interview of Dr. David C. Wilson, July 1976: Dr. David Cole Wilson, founder of the UVA School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, gave a lengthy oral history interview in 1976. During the interview, Dr. Wilson tells stories about his experiences as a UVA student and faculty member during the first half of the 20th century. In tape 5 around the 14-minute mark of the interview. Dr. Wilson briefly discusses his attitudes towards race and segregation while leading a SOM department. Dr. Wilson also relates his experiences campaigning against school segregation in the late 1950s as the first president of Charlottesville's chapter of the Virginia Council of Human Relations.
Interview of Ray Bell, December 22, 1980: "Ray Bell was born in the early 1930s in a home on Vinegar Hill. His father had arrived in Charlottesville in 1917 to open a funeral home, having been recruited by his first cousin, along with other black professionals, to move from Petersburg, Virginia. Bell was an active member of the Charlottesville branch of the NAACP, and describes its work on membership growth, voter registration, and campaigns to support African Americans in municipal government positions as well as the Allen vs. VA Board of Education desegregation case. Bell himself was the first black appointed to the Charlottesville School Board in 1963. He describes conditions in the segregated black ward of UVA hospital and the politics of desegregating the Hospital. He also discusses his work as Chairman of the NAACP Education Committee in the late 1970s and the causes of underperformance of African American children in standardized competency tests."
Interview of Angela Brown, April 3, 1989: Angela Brown shares her experiences at the University of Virginia Hospital, both as a patient and as an employee for more than 40 years (circa the 1930s to 1970s). Mrs. Brown talks about her employment at the Hospital, her experiences as an African American patient in a period of racial segregation, the effects of racial integration on the Hospital, and stories about several physicians she worked with.
Interview of Randolph White, circa 1990: In 2019, the Daily Progress printed an article about Randolph White, an early civil rights leader in Charlottesville, the founding editor of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Tribune, and a distinguished employee of UVA Hospital. The article contains excerpts of an interview that a Daily Progress reporter conducted around 1990.
The Life and Times of Thomas H. Hunter, 1993-1997: Dr. Thomas Harrison Hunter served first as the Dean of the UVA School of Medicine from 1953 to 1965 and later as Chancellor and Vice President of Health Affairs from 1965 to 1971. In the 1990s, Dr. Hunter gave a series of oral history interviews about his early life and extensive career in medicine. Around the nineteenth minute of the 13th interview tape, Dr. Hunter discusses race and the desegregation of UVA's School of Medicine.
Julian Bond Interviews Dr. Vivian Pinn, 2007: Julian Bond conducted this interview of Dr. Vivian Pinn (UVA SOM Class of 1967) as part of a series on Black leadership directed by Bond and Phyliss Leffler. During the conversation, Dr. Pinn shares stories about her childhood, education, experiences as a Black woman attending the UVA School of Medicine during the 1960s, and her distinguished career in Medicine. Julian Bond and Dr. Pinn also engage in a discussion about leadership.
Interview of Dr. William Womack, 2009: Dr. William Womack (UVA SOM Class of 1961) shares his experiences as one of the first Black medical students at the University of Virginia.
HistoryMakers Interview of Dr. Vivian Pinn, 2013: Dr. Vivian Pinn (SOM Class of 1967) is interviewed by Larry Crowe for the HistoryMakers project. In this 8 part interview, Dr. Pinn recalls her family history, childhood, early education, and her time at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She also discusses her medical career and pathology research, the National Medical Association, and issues related to Black women's health.
Interview of Dr. Vivian Pinn, 2017: Dr. Maurice Apprey, UVA Dean of African American Affairs and Professor of Psychiatric Medicine, interviews Dr. Vivian Pinn (UVA SOM Class of 1967). Dr. Pinn shares stories about her experiences as the only woman and African American in her class at the School of Medicine. She also discusses her relationship with the University of Virginia after receiving her medical degree. This interview is published in the book, "The Key to the Door: Early Experiences of African American Students at the University of Virginia."
Interview of Dr. William Womack, 2017: Dr. William Womack (UVA SOM Class of 1961) shares stories about his childhood, experiences at UVA as one of the earliest Black students in the School of Medicine, and his later medical career. This interview is published in the book "The Key to the Door: Early Experiences of African American Students at the University of Virginia.
Interview of Dr. Barbara Starks Favazza, 2017: Dr. Barbara Starks Favazza (UVA SOM Class of 1966) shares her experience as the first Black woman to attend and graduate from the UVA School of Medicine. She also shares stories about her childhood, early interest in medicine, participation in the Civil Rights Movement, and later medical career. The interview is published in the book, "The Key to the Door: Early Experiences of African American Students at the University of Virginia."
Jackson P. Burley High School's Segregated Black Licensed Practical Nursing Program, Medical Center Hour Presentation, October 2, 2019: Two graduates of the UVA-Jackson P. Burley Hgh School Licensed Practical Nursing Program, Clariece Coles Harris (UVA SON Class of 1954) and Evelyn Rodgers Gardner (UVA SON Class of 1959), participate in this public program at the University of Virginia. UVA SON PhD student Tori Tucker moderates the discussion which includes stories about the life, education, and careers of Mrs. Harris and Gardner.
Oral History of Dr. Edward Thomas Wood, September 2021: Dr. Edward Wood (UVA SOM Class of 1957) participates in this oral history interview with former Dean of the UVA School of Medicine, Dr. David Wilkes. Dr. Wood shares stories about his childhood, his experiences as of the first two Black medical students at UVA, and his distinguished career in ophthalmology.
The Beam, 1947-1948: UVA's Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library has copies of The Beam from 1947 and 1948. It was the newsletter for UPW-CIO Local 550. During the 1940s, Black workers at UVA Hospital organized this union to improve staff compensation and working conditions.
The Charlottesville Tribune, 1950-1951: The Charlottesville Tribune served the Black communities of the Albemarle-Charlottesville region between 1950 and 1951. Several articles document Black experiences at UVA Health and the local campaign to desegregate the Hospital. Below is a partial list of those articles:
Sellers, T.J. "New Hospital Rates and Negro Patients," March 31, 1951, page 2.
Sellers, T.J. "Is Racial Segregation Valid?" May 12, 1951, page 1.
Ackardt, R.J. "University Hospital Director Answers Tribune Editorial," May 19, 1951, page 2.
Sellers, T.J. "Discrimination at the University Hospital," May 26, 1951, page 1.
Robertson, M.G. "White Reader Says Something Wrong with Dr. Ackart's Letter," June 9, 1951, page 1.
Sellers, T.J. "Charlottesville NAACP Chapter Launches Drive Against Discrimination at U. of Va. Hospital," June 16, 1951, page 1.
Sellers, T.J. "Group Action; A First Step to Full Citizenship," July 7, 1951, page 2.
Sellers, T.J. "The Hospital Anti-Discrimination Fund," July 14, 1951, page 2.
The Tribune: The Charlottesville Tribune merged with the Roanoke Tribune around 1951 and became the Tribune. The Tribune served the Black communities of the Albemarle-Charlottesville region until 1954. Several articles document Black experiences at UVA Health and the local campaign to desegregate the Hospital. Below is a partial list of articles available online related to segregation and discrimination at UVA Hospital.
The Drawsheet, 1951-1989: The Drawsheet was the internal newsletter for staff members at the University of Virginia Hospital and Medical Center. In its early years, Hospital staff produced the newsletter, and in later decades, professional communications staff published it. Issues of The Drawsheet, particularly during the 1950s, contain biographical profiles of Black hospital staff, descriptions of their work, and reports on the activities of the racially integrated Employee Coordinating Committee. The Drawsheet is currently being processed into the UVA Medical Center Records Group. Contact the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about access to digital copies of this resource.
The Charlottesville-Albemarle Tribune, 1954-1992: Randolph White, a Charlottesville civil rights leader, and UVA Hospital employee, founded this newspaper to serve Black communities in the Albemarle-Charlottesville region. Many articles in the paper document Black experiences at UVA Health and community relationships with the organization.
University of Virginia Hospital Executive Director's Office (HEDO) records, 1892-1990, MS-7, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library: The Hospital Executive Director's Office (HEDO) records are a collection of materials that the office of UVA Hospital's chief administrator created, compiled, and used. They document the history of the University of Virginia Hospital, its physical grounds, its staff, its policies, and operating procedures. Below is a partial list of notable items and files from the collection that relate to segregation and discrimination:
Minutes and Correspondence of the Executive Committee of the UVA Hospital, 1924-1950 (multiple files)
"Report of an Investigation of Compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act on the Part of the University of Virginia Hospital." April 30, 1965. Box: 13 Folder: 1
University of Virginia School of Medicine records, RG-17-1, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library: The records of the UVA School of Medicine contain primarily administrative records, including annual reports, meeting minutes, commencement records, planning documents, policies, handbooks, course materials, directories, and awards. Personal and professional materials of certain individuals and departments may also be present. The collection also contains student organization records, publications, photographs, biographical files, and other content of historical significance. The materials that are available vary by year.
University of Virginia Medical Center records, RG-17-2, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library [In Process, contact email@example.com to inquire about access]: This record group consists of materials created and collected by employees of the University Medical Center while fulfilling their job responsibilities, including reports, planning documents, photographs, scrapbooks, recordings, websites, policies, histories, ledgers, and meeting minutes.
Papers of the President of the University of Virginia, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library [many collections]: These collections consist of records created, gathered, and used by the Office of the President of the University of Virginia. From 1904 to 1965, subject files in the President's papers for UVA Hospital, the UVA School of Medicine, and the UVA School of Nursing contain various materials documenting the history of segregation and discrimination. Contact the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library to inquire about the President's papers and access these resources: https://www.library.virginia.edu/special-collections/ .
Annual Reports to the President of the University of Virginia, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, 1904-1958 and 1958-1974: Reports submitted to the President of the University of Virginia from schools and departments including the UVA Hospital, the School of Medicine, and the School of Nursing. They provide summaries about the activities of the departments, including operations, projects, budgeting, personnel policies, and research.