Record Details

Catalog Search

The Black Angels : the untold story of the nurses who helped cure tuberculosis / Maria Smilios.

Smilios, Maria, (author.).

"During those dark pre-antibiotic days, when tuberculosis killed one in seven people, white nurses at Sea View, New York's largest municipal hospital, began quitting. Desperate to avert a public health crisis, city officials summoned Black southern nurses, luring them with promises of good pay, a career, and an escape from the strictures of Jim Crow. But after arriving, they found themselves on an isolated hilltop in the remote borough of Staten Island, yet again confronting racism and consigned to a woefully understaffed facility, dubbed "the pest house" where "no one left alive." Spanning the Great Depression and moving through World War II and beyond, this story follows the intrepid young women, the "Black Angels," who, for twenty years, risked their lives working under dreadful conditions while caring for the city's poorest-1,800 souls languishing in wards, waiting to die or become "guinea pigs" for experimental (often deadly) drugs. Yet despite their major role in desegregating the NYC hospital system-and regardless of their vital work in helping to find the cure for tuberculosis at Sea View-these nurses were completely erased from history. The Black Angels recovers the voices of these extraordinary women and puts them at the center of this riveting story celebrating their legacy and spirit of survival"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780593544921
  • Physical Description: xx, 428 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2023]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 363-407) and index.
Subject: Seaview Hospital (Staten Island, New York, N.Y.)
African American nurses
Nurses > New York (State) > New York > Biography.
Tuberculosis > Patients
Epidemics > New York (State) > Biography.
Communicable diseases > Transmission
Staten Island (New York, N.Y.)
Genre: Biographies

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Lehigh Valley Library System. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Bethlehem Area Public Library System.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Bethlehem Main Library 610.73 (Text) 33062009797748 New Adult Nonfiction Available -

Additional Resources