Welcome to Mound Bayou (which will be explored and explained more fully in future postings). Suffice it to say, a highly successful and prosperous Black community established by former slaves. Also, a few facts here about healthcare. Imagine the American Medical Association actions…and only apologizing in 2008.

What is: The Taborian Hospital, Mound Bayou, Mississippi

From about 1885-1950+ hospitals in the South paid little heed to the Black population. Seriously ill black patients were often served by segregated “charity” hospitals – a one or two room ward at the back of a hospital, the “colored ward.” At the same time, Black doctors were routinely denied medical staff privileges at hospitals because they weren’t members of the American Medical Association, because you could not be black and be a member. The American Medical Association apologized for its history of discrimination in 2008.

In 1938, The Knights and Daughters of Tabor, a large fraternal organization for African Americans, established this hospital in town of Mound Bayou, Mississippi.

The construction bill was over $100,000. The facility included two large operating rooms, an X-ray room, a sterilizer, an incubator, electro-cardiography, blood bank, and laboratory. When the Taborian Hospital opened in 1942, Dr. T.R.M. Howard, one of the great civil rights crusaders to emerge from that era, came on board as the chief surgeon and medical director of the hospital. By 1946 the hospital annually conducted more than twelve hundred operations in its two operating rooms.

Howard would leave the hospital over a dispute in 1947. Matthew Walker of the Meharry Medical College in Nashville, stepped in to provide Taborian with surgical residents and interns from Meharry on a rotating basis. This plan alleviated Meharry’s problem of finding internships and residencies for its students and Taborian’s problem of maintaining a well-trained staff at a price that it could afford. Differing from any medical training program in the country, the Mound Bayou program was an enormous success between 1947 to 1974. The Meharry contingent hosted daily clinics seven days a week for the people of the Delta and performed a wide rage of minor operations.

In 1966 the hospital received a federal grant from the US Office of Economic Opportunity to continue the program. In 1967, with the increase of federal funding in hospital care, Taborian Hospital and the Friendship Clinic, a private hospital opened by Dr. Howard following his dismissal from Taborian, were merged into the Mound Bayou Community Hospital. In 1983 the facility closed. Source: https://mississippiencyclopedia.org/entries/taborian-hospital/

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