In rural South African clinics, Black nurses played critical roles. Charged with administering valuable and life-saving health care measures despite a lack of equipment and personnel, these nurses had to navigate the intersections of traditional African healing practices, changing gender relations, and increasing educational and economic opportunities for South Africa’s Black middle class between the 1960s and 1980s. Leslie Anne Hadfield compellingly demonstrates how these women were able to successfully carve out their own professional space and reshape notions of health and healing in the Eastern Cape. Bringing forth the stories of these nurses in their own voices, A Bold Profession is an homage to their dedication to the well-being of their communities. Hadfield sheds light on the struggles of balancing commitment to career and family lives during an oppressive apartheid. The volume fills an important gap for scholars studying the history of women, nursing, and health care in South Africa, illuminating the humanity of health care workers.
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