African-American midwives meeting

African-American midwives meeting
African-American midwives are lined up in front of a street. Bessie Ward Harris is on the front row, fifth from the right. Date from negative sleeve.
Original Format
12cm x 10cm
Local Identifier
Location of Original
East Carolina Manuscript Collection
Copyright held by Joyner Library. Permission to reuse this work is granted for all non-commercial purposes.

Contact Digital Collections

If you know something about this item or would like to request additional information, click here.


Valerie Staton Sep 27 2021

Ms. Bessie Ward Harris and Lula Mae Best were witnesses at my mother's, wedding in 1946. Bessie also attended my grandmother's funeral April 1970. I noticed the surnames of the respondents. Harris, Daniels and Best are noted in my family tree.

russell daniels Feb 11 2021

This was my grandmother Bessie Ward Harris. She delivered over 1000 babies. I was the last one she raised. Also, she shared her religious background with me, including the fact that she raised me in church at Cherry Lane Free Will Baptist Church near Stokes, NC. The pastor during that time was Bishop Charles Parker. Now, I have my owns kids and family, I reside in Fayetteville, NC. I attended Fayetteville Sate University, majored in Psychology and Funeral Science. Also, I Pastor within the city.Thank you, for including my grandmother in your digital collection of African American Midwives at East Carolina University.Its well deserved.

Ethel BEST Aug 19 2016

Bessie Harris was my grandmother. She delivered my son, Victor Lamonte Best, August 17, 1970. She was not only a midwife, but she raised many children and fed many families from her garden,smokehouse, and deep freezer. She was an herbal person as well.

Katie Crandall-Taft Jul 11 2015

Mrs. Bessie Harris delivered meon August 9, 1943

Jackie Haddock Apr 14 2011

Mrs.Bessie Harris helped my Dad put in tobacco when I was a  boy, we called her Aunt Bessie,even my Dad. She was a midwife at that time also.

Erin Reece Dec 19 2009

In the south, midwives were trained by the health department to help mothers give birth at home who were unable to afford hospital birth.  There is a movie about a southern midwife from this time called "All My Babies".

Tammie Best Jun 15 2009

Mrs. Bessie Ward Harris is my great grandmother.

Gary Best Feb 23 2009

Mrs. Bessie Ward Harris is the lady 5th from right (front row)

Comment on This Item

Complete the fields below to post a public comment about the material featured on this page. The email address you submit will not be displayed and would only be used to contact you with additional questions or comments.

Comment Policy