As one explanation for the longevity and centrality of lay midwifery in southern childbirth culture, chapter 11 focuses on the lack of medical support and hospital facilities available to African Americans in the Jim Crow South. It reaches back to the early twentieth century and examines the challenges faced by black medical schools and hospitals, and the establishment of the National Medical Association. The problems associated with segregated facilities and the consequences of the Hill-Burton Act failed to ease the pressures on the black medical profession. The Slossfield Community Center in Birmingham Alabama is used as a case study to emphasize the both the obstacles faced by black hospitals and physicians, and the benefits of a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to wellness.
Keywords: Black medical schools, National Medical Association, Segregated facilities, Hill-Burton Act, Slossfield Community Center