Who was Mabel Keaton Staupers?
Who was Mabel Keaton Stau­pers?© Golfmhee | Dreamstime.com [Dream­sti­me RF]

Fact #1

Mabel Keaton Stau­pers was born in Bar­ba­dos, on 27 Febru­ar 1890, but moved to the United Sta­tes at age 13. Her par­ents were Tho­mas and Pau­li­ne Doyle. She stu­di­ed nur­sing at Freedmen’s Hos­pi­tal School of Nur­sing in Washing­ton, DC, ulti­mate­ly gra­dua­ting with hono­urs in 1917. Fol­lowing her stu­dies, she began working as a pri­va­te duty nurse.

Fact #2

Mabel Keaton Stau­pers held many important posi­ti­ons during her life­time. She worked for the Har­lem Tuber­cu­lo­sis Com­mit­tee from 1922–1934, initi­al­ly as a sur­veyor of health needs and later as exe­cu­ti­ve secreta­ry. Short­ly after her time the­re, she beca­me the first ever paid exe­cu­ti­ve secreta­ry of the Natio­nal Asso­cia­ti­on of Colo­red Gra­dua­te Nur­ses, a posi­ti­on which she would hold for the next twel­ve years, during which time she was able to incre­a­se mem­bers­hip. The Asso­cia­ti­on was ulti­mate­ly dis­sol­ved in 1949, fol­lowing the admis­si­on of Black nur­ses to the Ame­ri­can Nur­ses Asso­cia­ti­on (ANA).

Fact #3

Black Ame­ri­cans were hea­vi­ly discri­mi­na­ted against in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry, some­thing which also affec­ted Mabel Keaton Stau­pers. The­re was widespread segre­ga­ti­on, Black nur­ses were not per­mit­ted to join the Ame­ri­can Nur­ses Asso­cia­ti­on until 1948, and the Natio­nal League of Nur­sing Edu­ca­ti­on also denied access to Black nur­ses. Mabel Keaton Stau­pers spo­ke out against the unjust discri­ma­ti­on against Black nur­ses. Nota­b­ly, she suc­cess­ful­ly cam­pai­gned against restric­tions pre­ven­ting Black nur­ses from working in the military.

Fact #4

Stau­pers also wro­te a book about her com­mit­ment to ending racia­li­sed discri­mi­na­ti­on in the Ame­ri­can nur­sing pro­fes­si­on enti­t­led No Time For Pre­ju­di­ce. It was publis­hed in 1961.

Fact #5

Mabel Keaton Stau­pers died in 1989 and is now remem­be­red as one of the most important nur­ses in Ame­ri­can histo­ry. Her lega­cy of figh­t­ing for racial equa­li­ty in nur­sing has been hono­u­red by many, and she was induc­ted into the Ame­ri­can Nur­ses Asso­cia­ti­on Hall of Fame in 1996 in reco­gni­ti­on of her signi­fi­cant con­tri­bu­ti­ons to the nur­sing profession.