Who was Mabel Keaton Staupers?
Who was Mabel Keaton Staupers?Bild: © Golfmhee | Dreamstime.com

Fact #1

Mabel Keaton Staupers was born in Barba­dos, on 27 Febru­ary 1890, and moved to the United States when she was 13 years old. Her parents were Thomas and Pauline Doyle. She later 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 she worked as a surveyor of health needs, later also becom­ing execu­tive secretary. Shortly after her time there, she began working for the Natio­nal Associa­tion of Colored Graduate Nurses as their first ever paid execu­tive secretary, a position which she would hold for the next twelve years, during which time she was able to incre­ase members­hip. The associa­tion was ultimately disban­ded in 1949, following the admis­sion of Black nurses to the Ameri­can Nurses Associa­tion (ANA).

Fact #3

Black Ameri­cans were heavily discri­mi­na­ted against at this time, something which also affec­ted Mabel Keaton Staupers. There was widespread segre­ga­tion, and Black nurses were not given full access to either the Ameri­can Nurses Associa­tion (until 1948), or to the Natio­nal League of Nursing Educa­tion. Mabel Keaton Staupers spoke out against the unjust discri­mi­na­tion against Black nurses. Notably, during her time at the Natio­nal Associa­tion of Colored Graduate Nurses, she success­fully campai­gned against restric­tions preven­ting Black nurses from working in the military.

Fact #4

Mabel Keaton Staupers also wrote a book about her commit­ment to ending racia­li­sed discri­mi­na­tion in the Ameri­can nursing profes­sion entit­led No Time For Preju­dice.

Fact #5

Mabel Keaton Staupers died in 1989 and is now remem­be­red as one of the most important nurses in Ameri­can history. Her nursing legacy, and role in fight­ing for racial equality, 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.