Each year during Black History Month, GCI Ladson features “A Moment in Black History.” Each Sunday during the month of February, we pause for a moment to celebrate the contributions of Black Americans and to understanding where we have been and where we want to be in the future. We try to be aligned with the national Black History theme which this year was Black Health and Wellness. Therefore, we highlighted the contributions Black doctors made to the health of Black people and how they advocated for the health care of Black people. In an effort to bring the accomplishments and contributions of Black health care professionals forward, we started with the disparity of diseases and health of people of color in America. Many Black healthcare professionals concentrated their efforts on the lack of quality and accessibility of health care for Black people.
Wanda Jones introduced us to Dr. Daniel Williams, a general surgeon who performed the first open heart surgery. Because many hospitals did not allow Black doctors to practice, he established the Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses.
Also highlighted was Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller the first African American psychiatrist and researcher of Alzheimer. Fuller performed autopsies on Alzheimer patients and discovered that their brain had undergone physical changes, proving that Alzheimer is a true disease and not insanity. This presentation was enlightening given that many people in our congregation know someone or have a family member with Alzheimer.
Dr. Patricia Bath, an inventor and ophthalmologist, invented an improved device for laser cataract surgery. Dr. Bath took note of the high number of Black people suffering from blindness and other eye disease. Through her research and observations, she was moved to establish humanitarian efforts to help restore eye sight and provide eye care for many people.
Our concentration on Black Health and Wellness encouraged us to take care of our physical bodies which are the temple of the Holy Spirit.