Adah Belle Samuels was born in Richmond, Virginia back in 1870 to Harry and Melvina. Before she began her career, she was briefly married however when the marriage ended she kept the surname. She began her first career as a school teacher in Richmond. Moving to New York she studied at the Women’s Infirmary and School of Therapeutic Massage graduating in 1900.
She continued her education at the Lincoln Hospital and Home School of Nursing graduating in 1905. She served as the acting director of the Lincoln Hospital and Home School of Nursing from 1906 to 1923. She died in 1943.
What you may not know about Adah Belle Samuels Thoms is that she was an African American nurse who cofounded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses. She was among the first nurses inducted into the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame when it was established in 1976. She played a critical role in lobbying the American Red Cross to permit black nurses to enroll during WWI. She faced discrimination because of the color of her skin (just don’t understand that), anyway she was a fighter and overcame all the obstacles thrown at her. Sad to say she was not around to see what a difference her contributions have evolved into.
Until tomorrow give someone a free gift of a smile.