Paula Jackson


As Interviewed by Vivian Craft, March 3, 2017
"There were two large towers or buildings. And all of the black patients were taken care of in one of the buildings, and all of the white patients were taken care of in one of the other buildings."
Paula Jackson

Introductory Profile: About Paula Jackson

I interviewed my grandmother, Paula Jackson. She has witnessed racial discrimination in her life and profession. She grew up in Fort Worth and is now 73 years-old. She went to school as a nurse, and she worked at Charity Hospital in New Orleans when it was segregated. She does not believe in the idea of segregation as she grew up in community that was working towards desegregation. She has many interesting stories to tell about her experiences at Charity and her experiences involving racism.

Charity Hospital was the oldest hospital in America and had been run by the Sisters of Charity when it was shut down in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. It was free of charge for patients and worked by volunteers, and opened in 1736. It was segregated for a time, having wards for the white patients versus the other races. It has gradually improved since then, but three months after Hurricane Katrina it was declared that it would not be returning as a fully functioning hospital. It was closed and funds were used to build a state-of-the-art hospital, University Medical Center New Orleans.

In my interview, my grandmother told me some about the hospital and how she worked there, and some of the experiences she encountered.