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1851: The New Asylum

1945: Patients Over Politics

1960: Ending Segregation

1930-1970: Hospital Staff

1962-1976: The Peterson Years

1960: Ending Segregation

Administrators of a racially segregated hospital hired Dr. Elmer C. Jackson as its first black doctor in the 1950s. His practice, initially limited to the black wards, forced him to cope with discrimination from co-workers who would not eat with him. Racial discrimination at the hospital slowly changed. New hospital policy directed ward desegregation in 1962 and social workers created educational programs to help patients and staff recognize one another as individuals, regardless of racial, ethnic, or religious differences.

Dr Elmer Jackson, c. 1975
Dr Elmer Jackson, c. 1975
Missouri State Archives

"I think that racism is a mental illness, if you define mental a break with reality. If you think you're better than other people based on race, that's a break with reality. That's delusional."

Jane Bierdeman-Fike, social worker, Fulton State Hospital.

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Online Exhibit Created 2003
Missouri State ArchivesOffice of the Secretary of State, Missouri