RingSide Report

World News, Social Issues, Politics, Entertainment and Sports

Doctor Curmudgeon® And It Only Took One Hundred and Forty Years!

By Diane Batshaw Eisman, M.D. FAAP Doctor Eisman is in Family Practice in Aventura, Florida with her partner, Dr. Eugene Eisman, an internist/cardiologist

On August 25, 2023, Justin Gamble reported in CNN, “The city council of Savannah, Georgia, voted Thursday to rename a downtown square after Susie King Taylor, a Black woman who once taught slaves to read and write. Savannah Square has been specifically named after a woman and a person of color.”

Susie was born in 1848 into slavery.

In those days, it was illegal for enslaved people to have an education. But her grandmother saw to it that this bright child had an “underground education.”

Learning had to be clandestine. Children entered a little house one by one so attention would not be drawn to them. They even had to cover up their schoolbooks.

Susie used her education well. When she was only thirteen, she founded the first free African American school. In daytime she worked with children and at night she taught adults to read and write.

She was able to do this because during the Civil War, her family fled to St. Simon’s Island. In a visit to the island, Commodore Goldsborough learned that Susie could read and write and allowed her to establish a school for the children on the island.

During the Civil War, she enrolled in the army as a laundress. But her obvious intelligence and skill at learning soon put her in a different position.

Susie quickly learned to pack haversacks and cartridge packs for soldiers in combat, and she kept rifled muskets in good repair. Not only did she clean weapons, but she tested them as well. She was also known to be a crack shot.

It has been said that you can’t keep a good woman down. And that was Susie Taylor King.

She soon began assisting nurses treating wounded soldiers and even met with Clara Barton (the founder of the American Red Cross). Susie King Taylor then became a nurse with the 33rd U.S. Colored Troop Infantry Regiment.

The war ended and the era of Reconstruction started. She left the army and opened a school in Savannah. Again, she taught African American children in the daytime and educated adults at night.

It was rumored that she was s superb chef. But more importantly, she was a well-received author. It was in 1902 that she published a memoir of her wartime experiences: “Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33rd United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S.C. volunteers.”

And so a town square that had been previously named Calhoun Square became Susie King Taylor Square. John Calhoun, a former vice president of the United States had advocated for slavery and owned slaves himself.

The mayor of Savannah Van R. Johnson II said, “What he stood for is not what Savannah stands for.”

Dr. Curmudgeon suggests “Bitter Medicine”, Dr. Eugene Eisman’s story of his experiences–from the humorous to the intense—as a young army doctor serving in the Vietnam War.
Bitter Medicine by Eugene H. Eisman, M.D. –on Amazon

Doctor Curmudgeon® is Diane Batshaw Eisman, M.D., a physician-satirist. This column originally appeared on SERMO, the leading global social network for doctors.
SERMO www.sermo.com

Click Here to Order Boxing Interviews Of A Lifetime By “Bad” Brad Berkwitt