Mary Seacole was our first Black nurse, but all you hear about is Florence Nightingale!

Mary Seacole, née Mary Jane Grant, (born 1805, Kingston, Jamaica – died May 14, 1881, London, England), Jamaican businesswoman who provided sustenance and care for British soldiers at the battlefront during the Crimean War. Again, she was 15 years older than Florence!

Florence Nightingale receives all the accolades when Mary Seacole helped train her on how to sanitize and keep things sterile… Mary Seacole was a nurse. She was our first nurse, who pissed off the British and they are disgusted and hate to look at her as an icon. All because of the color of her skin again, doing all that they can to strip away the true history, OUR history! (But as we know, that’s what they do.) Children as early as preschool are taught about Florence while Mary Seacole is NEVER even mentioned in the history books.

The Black nurse story has been muddled over for long enough. It’s time people start demanding the history books change and Florence Nightingale is no longer taught without mentioning who trained her. Florence and Mary were friends! There was no hostility between the two and their goal together was to keep these soldiers alive, who were placed in a hospital over a sewer.

It’s been proven and documented that hygiene was taught to White people by Natives and Blacks. That’s who introduced them to bathing. So, it’s NO surprise a Jamaican woman had to teach them about sterilization because before she arrived (Not with Florence, on her own dime) soldiers were DYING because of unsanitary conditions.

 Yes, Florence went on to start a nursing school and did great things. Yes, her team of nurses helped many. I am not writing this to diminish her legacy, but I refuse to glorify her without paying homage to those who lead the way: her elder Mary Seacole! Then there’s the argument that Seacole is a symbol of political correctness gone mad because the great Black British icon isn’t, er, black. In a Spectator piece Rob Liddle took the baffling stance that Seacole was “three-quarters white”. This is despite contemporary depictions of her as a person “of colour” (and her own recollection that a White American at a dinner party said he wished he could bleach her skin). Doc McStuffins disappointed me by not teaching children the truth but then I had to step back and look at their writing team…

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