Taking Care highlights the groundbreaking work, lives, and legacy of the “Black Angels,” the Black nursing staff at Seaview Hospital in Staten Island who risked their lives to break racial barriers and care for tuberculosis patients.
At the center of this exhibition is Back and Song, a meditative film and art installation by artists Elissa Blount Moorhead and Bradford Young. This kaleidoscopic installation reflects on the manner in which health and wellness are part and parcel of the American Black experience from cradle to grave. Back and Song considers the labor and care provided by generations of Black healers–doctors, nurses, midwives, morticians, therapists, and health aides–and their histories of contribution to, and resistance against, the flawed and discriminatory structures of Western medicine.
Through artwork, archival images, oral histories and historic objects, this exhibition connects significant local history to a larger narrative of Black healthcare workers, healers, and caregivers.