Hazel Johnson-Brown: Trailblazing Nurse

hazel-johnson-brownHazel Johnson-Brown was a nurse and educator, who served with the U.S. Army from 1955-1983. She became the first black female general in the United States Army and the first black chief of the Army Nurse Corps in 1979.  She was later promoted to brigadier general, that same year.

Brown was born in Pennsylvania, to a large family. Her interest in nursing developed young.  She applied to the West Chester School of Nursing, but was denied entry because she was African-American. Determined to pursue the field of nursing, she moved to New York City, and enrolled in the Harlem Hospital School of Nursing in 1947. She graduated and worked at Harlem Hospital for three years.

Brown then moved back to Pennsylvania and worked at the medical cardiovascular ward at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital and became head nurse within three months. She worked, while completing her B.A. in nursing at Villanova University. While working at the VA, she became interested in the opportunities, and travel of working as a nurse in the Army.

hazel_johnson_brown_webBrown joined the army in 1955, right after President Harry Truman banned segregation and discrimination in the armed services. She was a staff nurse in Japan and Chief nurse in Korea. While in the Army, Gen. Johnson-Brown earned a master’s degree in nursing education from Columbia University in 1963. She also gained a doctorate in education administration from Catholic University of America in 1973, for Brown taught many incoming nurses into the army on procedures, and taught at Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing.

Brown receiving her doctorate.

Brown receiving her doctorate.

She later became dean and assistant at Walter Reed as well. From 1976-1978, Brown was Assistant Dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing. In 1979 she became the first black female general in the United States Army and the first black chief of the Army Nurse Corps. Brown retired from the Army Nurse Corps in 1983. However, she remained enormously active on nursing’s national stage as a mentor, teacher and advocate.


Brown receiving her promotion to general.

Hazel Winifred Johnson-Brown, was a true trailblazer. She has helped usher in nursing opportunities for black women in the Armed forces with her accomplishments and hard work. Her tenacity never wavered for she was a chameleon, and blended into different facets of nursing. She never lost her desire to expand educationally and occupationally.  Discrimination did not stop her, She found ways to flourish and become better. Family, we must never lose our drive. We must be persistent in following our dreams. Nothing can stop you. We must let the power of our passion propel us into becoming skilled in our field. We are all great, and we can all become greater. The question is are you willing to do what needs to be done to achieve the greatness that is destined for you? ~Know Your Worth~ -M. Millie



Brainwashing stops us from Ujamaa (cooperative economics)

ujammaToday is Day 4 of Kwanzaa. The principal is ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah) (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Ujamaa and is essentially a commitment to the practice of shared social wealth and the work necessary to achieve it. It grows out of the fundamental communal concept that social wealth belongs to the masses of people who created it and that no one should have such an unequal amount of wealth that it gives him/her the capacity to impose unequal, exploitative or oppressive relations on others.

I like this principle. It does not intend to limit your financial wealth, but reminds us not to use or wealth to hurt or oppress each other. However, we should use our wealth unequal or not to invest in our communities and help all of us reach economic success and prosperity. Ujamaa is about us extending the skills and qualities we have gained occupationally and economically to each other so we can all become greater and better. It is about centralizing our money towards goals that will make our lives, and future richer with success and development.

ujammaHowever, we often have a problem with this. We do not want to buy from Black Owned Businesses. We do not want to invest in them. We do not want to work in them. We do not want to go to a historically black college. We do not want to donate to them. We do not want to be associated with anything that will uplift black corporations, organizations, and companies. . Some of us not all think that doing any of those things would damage, hurt us, or is wrong.

black ownedWhy?

Because of the brainwashing that has been committed upon many of us. Many of us think it is wrong to be associated with such things. There are still a lot of us who need to realize that the whole condition and status of the African/black race affects every one of us even, if we are not specifically plagued with the negative issues and conditions that other blacks deal with.

BOBIf most of our people are not successful economically, yes it may not cause us to have financial strife now. Yes, it may not change the tides in or life, but it is a ripple that will affect all of us one day.

I say this to mean that if YOU, are in any position to help out another brotha or sistah land a job, build a business or make a positive step towards a better tomorrow, do it. It does not take anything from you. It simply strengthens the community foundation and cements a stronger tomorrow for all of us.

ujamma 1Use ujamaa in your life today. We are all just roots, who have extended our greatness through the rough soil and soaked in the water of wisdom and talent. Once we connect our roots. Once we come together and work together economically, we will form the whole tree. We will construct a formidable force of excellence. Lets come together and  create a forest, together. -M. Millie


columbus day

Although, I love every extra day I have off of work, I am not celebrating today. How can I celebrate a man who laid claim to a land that was not his and was already inhabited by people> How can I celebrate a man who massacred thousands of native people? How can I celebrate a man who set the framework for the slave trade, where thousands of Africans were stolen, brutalized, raped, degraded, and forced to forget their culture, as well as their languages and history. The fact is I can not. There is nothing about this man, that is worth celebrating, let alone having a day to tribute his legacy. This is NO DAY to celebrate. Do not let American racism or European white supremacy fool you to thinking today is a day to celebrate.

Christopher Columbus was a horrible man. Upon having a ship wreck in the Americas he noticed the sweet and humble nature of the Native Americans. He used their welcoming and calm dispositions as the backbone of breaking their society a part. The Europeans brought illnesses, and alcohol. The Europeans brought savageness and corruption to the Americas.


What happened next? The Native Americans were forced into servitude, but guess what too many of them died. The diseases, and violence Christopher Columbus and his gang of abusers brought was too much for the Native Americans. Their food sources diminished. There immune systems weakened by the new illnesses they now had. That is when the Europeans brought over slaves as their new workforce and economic force.


I do not care what they teach in elementary school about Christopher Columbus. We already know that the educational system is rigged to teach white history, to enforce low self esteem, weak minded, yes massah black people and minorities. I am a teacher, I fight against that foolishness everyday. The truth is he was a horrible man. He was a man who begin the term “genocide.” He was a man who made his riches off of the termination and enslavement of races deemed inferior to the white race.

Yes, and white people will always say Christopher Columbus and his crew helped the Native Americans and African Americans. They will say they brought sophistication to savages. They will say they brought medicine. They will say they brought education. They will say they brought religion. You see that is the thinking of many white people, that they are needed in the lives of non whites to help refine them from their beastly ways. SMDH! Africans and Native Americans lived happily in their lands without the help of Europeans. They lived in a society that flourished. They lived in a society that had its own education, religion and culturally practices. If they did not how else would their lands have survived with rich minerals, resources. How else would you have met people in Africa and America that were healthy, organized and had a bountiful land. Invaders that Christopher Columbus and his crew did. They invaded America and helped other European nations invade Africa to rape these people from their land and culture.

slave trade

I will enjoy my day off, because I am a hardworking teacher who deserves a time to rest, and relax. I will not enjoy this day or celebrate it for Christopher Columbus. A man who hurt, and killed so many Native Americans. A man who hurt and killed so many of my ancestors. No thank you. This day is a spit in the face too so many lives, cultures, and histories that have been trampled on or destroyed.

Family, know your history before you celebrate a holiday that was founded on the hate and oppression of black bodies. This day is nothing to celebrate or uphold. Enjoy your day off you deserve it, however know that this man is no hero. He was a tyrant, a killer, and a vicious destructive man. Fuck Columbus day. Yes, sometimes the truth is raw like that. This was and is no man worth celebrating. hISTORY does not lie. It is a reflection of the past, that enables us to understand our present, and predict the future. This day should be abolished. His memory should only serve to highlight one of the biggest and earliest criminals in history  -M. Millie