Just in time for Juneteenth!
Margaret Taylor is a native of Arlington, Texas, growing up during segregation, Fox 4 News reports. She was bused to high school in Fort Worth, graduating in 1957 before deciding to pursue a career in nursing. Taylor enrolled in Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital’s nursing program, making history in 1967 as the first Black nurse in the city. Nearly 60 years after breaking the color barrier in the field, Taylor is being honored for her service.
This past week, Taylor received a resolution on behalf of the city and a plaque that will hang in at Texas Health, honoring her for her 45 years of service. Many friends and colleagues of Taylor’s gathered for the festivities, her son Patrick, a reverend at Arlington’s Mount Olive Baptist Church, also speaking on behalf of his mom.
Patrick said he never knew his mom was making history, just seeing her as a hard-working woman.
“I just thought my mom went to work, and I thought that was what I was supposed to do. And back in the day, it was like all you required was a high school education,” he told reporters.
Taylor echoed her son’s sentiments, saying she never knew the gravity of her career choice until later in life.
“I focused on what I needed to do. It wasn’t a Black or white issue,” said Taylor.
She credits her aunt for getting her into the nursing field, sparking her four decades of service that ended when she retired in 2014, NBC 5 DFW reports.
“My aunt worked in the cafeteria and she said they’re starting a nursing school why don’t you go get you a job - and I’ve been here ever since,” recalled Taylor.
That one decision landed Taylor’s name in the history books, helping to pave the way for entire generations of Black nurses who came after her. As the crowd gathered to honor her life saving work for the city’s residents, Patrick made sure to thank everyone on behalf of their family.
“For each and every one of you that have taken the time, for the time that you’ve taken, God bless you all. God bless your soul. To honor, to tell you we love you. How incredibly special you are,” he said.
Now at age 85, Taylor wants people to look at her story and remember to just keep following their dreams and keep the faith in their ability to do whatever they put their mind to.
“Continue with your thoughts whether high or low. Keep striving for whatever your dream is. Even if it’s dishwashing if that’s what you want to do. Do it. You can be what you want to be,” said Taylor.
Congratulations Ms. Margaret Taylor! Thank you for your contributions.
Cover photo: Arlington, Texas honors city’s first Black nurse with resolution/Photo Courtesy of NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth