As Black History Month comes to an end, I would be remiss if I didnâ€™t honor the memory of my maternal ancestors, Emerline and her daughter Mariah Jones, who was my great-great grandmother and passed their gift of â€œbirthingâ€ onto myself and cousin, Dr. Sheryanne Wade.
Through ancestry research, I discovered that Emeline was born in 1820Â and her ancestors originated from the same South African community as Nelson Mandela. You can’t imagine the pride I experienced knowing that I am a descendant of Nelson Mandela. It explained why the women in my family were advocates who were fierce and feisty.
I didn’t seek obstetrics as a career; obstetrics found me, a humble black woman from Brooklyn, New York who was a social worker at the time, attempting to create a small footprint of change in an ever-expanding universe. Fate and my passion for making a difference guided me to a delivery room on a hot summer night at Harlem Hospital where I witnessed my first delivery and found my true calling.
Pregnant moms, I will continue to fight for your safety, and the safety of your unborn babies and others who are committed like me will do the same. Obstetrics is not an â€œindustryâ€ as it has been called by some who knows nothing about this sacred profession yet forge ahead with self-serving agendas.
Each day that I serve you, I am honoring the sweet memory of my ancestors.
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