Maude Lee Bryant (b. 1897)
“Some families paid me in pigs or chickens. A lot of them didn’t pay me nothing, but love, of course.”
Back before there were doctors and hospitals that served rural populations and blacks were denied medical care, the midwife delivered babies to women—black and white— who needed her. Long after she had delivered her last baby, in primitive homes and barns, she was invited to speak to medical students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “I told them,” she said, “there were a few things they didn’t have to learn by reading.” One thing she had to teach them was for doctors and patients to let one another know they were loved.