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Doing Your Part to Take Care of Brooklyn

By Nalleli Guillen

Posted on March 25, 2020

Annual Report, American Red Cross, Brooklyn Chapter, 1943-44; American Red Cross, Brooklyn Chapter collection (1985.091), Brooklyn Historical Society
Annual Report, American Red Cross, Brooklyn Chapter, 1943-44; American Red Cross, Brooklyn Chapter collection (1985.091), Brooklyn Historical Society

Are you Taking Care of Brooklyn? In these unprecedented times, support our front line healthcare providers by doing your part: Practical Social Distancing; Stay home; Wash your hands; Avoid touching your face.

BHS’s recent public history project and exhibition of the same name, Taking Care of Brooklyn, explores the history of women as caregivers, both in the home and in the workforce. In the late nineteenth century, the professionalization of medical care resulted in the exclusion of women and African Americans from the profession, making way for the rise of a mostly middle class, white, and male physician workforce. Women nevertheless continued to play an important role as caregivers, especially as nurses, one of the few career options for women after the Civil War.

Second-wave feminism, the civil rights movement, and changing employment laws in the second half of the twentieth century created new opportunities for women and people of color in the medical field. Nevertheless, disparities continue. Today, only 35% of physicians are women.

Explore more of Taking Care of Brooklyn from home with our new blog series! We look forward to welcoming you all back to BHS to check out Taking Care of Brooklyn in the future. In the meantime, we at BHS send our heartfelt thanks to the health care professionals taking care of us right now. Stay safe.

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