NOTE: This story was submitted by Mary Jo Haywood, the first black female Mayor of Camilla, Ga. and a dedicated listener of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.”
In Camilla, Georgia on “The Hill” sits the Georgia B. Williams Nursing Home. The building was owned by Georgia midwife Beatrice Borders, or “Miss Bea.” Between 1941 and 1971, Ms. Borders delivered over 6,000 African American babies at the home. Prior to the civil rights era, black women of Camilla were not allowed in the larger hospitals. For 30 years, this was the only place black women could give birth in Mitchell County.
Beatrice Borders was born in 1892. She began delivering babies around 1918. She would go house-to-house to deliver babies until she was able to purchase the nursing facility. Patients were drawn to the Williams home from miles around. Mothers would stay at the facility for three days after delivery and were cared for as if they were in a hospital. At one time there could be up to four patients recovering or delivering at the home. If there were any issues with a patient’s birth, a nearby doctor was on call.
Midwives in the early 20th century were licensed by the state. In the state of Georgia, midwives were required to pass a test through the Georgia Health Department. In addition, women who were to give birth by a midwife had to be given a ‘thumbs up’ by a doctor, usually in their seventh month of pregnancy.
The Georgia B. Williams Nursing home charged between $25-$55 for delivery, but no one was turned away because they couldn’t pay. Borders also accepted barter payments, although she was in debt herself with the home. The facility had a birthing room, recovery, office, nursery, laundry room and a side entrance for the mothers. The front of the home was for living quarters. The building only had one bathroom that all the women had to share.
The Georgia B. Williams Nursing Home remained a working facility until its close in 1971, the same year that Borders passed away. Borders was recognized as one of the top entrepreneurs in the city. While many of the items in the facility are still within the building, it is now abandoned, with hopes of being restored by the city of Camilla. The home is listed in the Georgia Register of Historic Places. It is currently awaiting recognition by the National Register for cultural heritage and its placement in women’s history. Jacquelyn Briscoe and Brenda Smiley nominated the facility for designation into the registry.
The Georgia B. Williams Nursing Home Committee Inc. has launched a restoration project to honor Mrs. Beatrice Borders and to save and restore this historic birthing home that she owned and operated. Once restored, the facility will be made into an interactive museum and community resource center. In addition to teaching tours, the center plans to award scholarships to students who are studying midwifery, nursing or child care. The cost of restoration is $300,000. City officials fear that deterioration will occur if the facility is not restored in a timely fashion.
Contributions are to be made payable to GBWNC and mailed to GBWNHC, 23 East Beacon Street, Camilla, GA 31730.
For more information contact Chairperson Mary Jo Haywood at 229.336.5728 or committee member, Jackie Briscoe at 706.817.8512 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations of any size are accepted and appreciated.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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