From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Anti-Tuberculosis Movement (Louisville, KY)

In the late 1880s, the mortality rate among African Americans due to tuberculosis (or consumption) was three times higher than that for whites, especially in the South. It soon became evident that tuberculosis was an overall health problem not restricted to any one race, and though the Tuberculosis Movement remained segregated, there were more joint efforts between the races.

In Louisville prior to 1909, the Anti-Tuberculosis Association established the "Committee on Conference [sic] and prevention of Tuberculosis among the Colored People." A visiting nurse was hired and her duties included educating African Americans in Louisville about tuberculosis. The visiting nurse was seen as a self-help answer, an idea that grew to become a major part of the nationwide Tuberculosis Movement for Negroes.

In 1914 a training program for visiting nurses was established at the Negro Mercy Hospital in Philadelphia. In 1928 the Julius Rosenwald Fund sponsored a training program for 200 African American nurses to serve in the rural South.

For more see M. M. Torchia, "The Tuberculosis Movement and the Race Question, 1890-1950," Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol. 49, issue 2 (Summer 1975), pp. 152-168; The Tuberculosis Movement: a public health campaign in the progressive era, by M. E. Teller; and S. Logan, "The Early Anti-Tuberculosis Movement in Kentucky," 11/27/2020, on the Kentucky Historic Institutions website.

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NKAA Source: The Tuberculosis Movement : a public health campaign in the progressive era
NKAA Source: Bulletin of the history of medicine (periodical)

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“Anti-Tuberculosis Movement (Louisville, KY),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-07-21 15:29:27