Dr. Sue Hawkins, Editor The UKAHN Bulletin
Volume 9 (1) 2021

Welcome to the 2021 issue (Issue 9) of the UKAHN Bulletin. We hope all our readers are well and are surviving in these still strange times.

I am pleased to say that this is a very special issue of the Bulletin, which was prompted by our desire to do something in memory of George Floyd, so tragically killed by police in Minneapolis in May 2020. The UKAHN Committee discussed what would be the best way to make our contribution to the memory of George and to show our support to communities around the world who face oppression and discrimination as a result of the colour of their skin. We decided we wanted to make more than a tokenistic gesture, and instead to do something positive: to produce an issue of the Bulletin which focusses on the history of nursing through the lens of ‘people of colour’. None of the Committee (all published nursing history historians) have ever grappled with this type of history, and when I began research for the issue, I found that very little was available – and what exists was difficult to find. So the idea grew, can we produce a Bulletin which takes ‘Black’ nursing history as its focus.[1]

We decided to bring together in one issue a mix of iconic pieces of work on the subject, alongside some new pieces, not published elsewhere. The first depended on identifying such works and gaining permissions from both publishers and authors to reproduce the selected articles in the Bulletin. The second objective relied on us finding some historians who had material ready to publish or were prepared to write something for us. We also acknowledged that we needed help from someone with expertise in the area, who could help us choose articles to be included and give gravitas to the project, so we needed a Guest Editor of stature.

The results of all this effort can be seen in this Issue of the Bulletin, which contains three new pieces of work and eight reproductions, from academics based around the world. This is a truly global Issue. It must be said immediately that it would never have got off the ground if it hadn’t been for our wonderful Guest Editor, Karen Flynn.  Karen helped us to identify potential authors and their articles and has been incredibly supportive and generous with her time. She has also contributed a thought-provoking Guest Editorial, of article length, in which she not only discusses the articles contained in the Issue, but also puts them in context of wider discussions which have taken place, and which still need to be addressed.

Karen’s Editorial is so exhaustive there is no need for me to say more about the contents of this Bulletin, but I do have a few acknowledgements to make and a note about how the Issue has been produced.

First the thanks: To publishers who gave permission for us to reproduce work they originally published and to authors of these works who also agreed to collaborate; and to the authors of new pieces of work who undertook new scholarship under the most difficult of conditions when many archives were closed and libraries inaccessible; and to the often forgotten peer reviewers, who worked with the authors of the new articles in a constructive and productive way. I must also acknowledge the production team at UKAHN Bulletin (Janet Hargreaves and Amanda Gwinnup), who have grappled with WordPress for the first time and enabled the Bulletin to see the light of day.

Finally, a note on the production. As you read the articles in this issue you will notice that there are various inconsistencies between them in terms of spelling and punctuation. These result from the way the journal has been brought together, combining articles previously published in a variety of sources. We took the decision not to edit each article into the Bulletin’s style as this added an unnecessary complication to the production process: so American spelling and punctuation in some articles remains in place, while others use English spelling and punctuation.

The Bulletin is being published later in the year than normal but fortuitously, it now coincides with Black History Month! We hope you enjoy and are simulated by this unique compilation of global research in the field of ‘Black’ Nursing History and we beg all our readers to help us promote this Issue of the Bulletin as widely as you can. We think it is special, and we want it to inspire as many people as possible.

Sue Hawkins, Editor UKAHN Bulletin

[1] I have placed ‘people of colour’ and ‘Black’ in inverted commas to emphasize that terminology in this subject is fraught. I am using ‘people of colour’ and ‘Black’ as synonymous terms here although I recognise some people will find this uncomfortable. Karen Flynn, our Guest Editor, discusses the challenge of language in her Guest Editorial on page 2-3.