Oprah Winfrey's New Book Imprint Will Publish The Black Angels: The Untold Story of the Nurses Who Helped Cure Tuberculosis

Posted on December 15, 2016

Flatiron Books has dropped more news about Oprah Winfrey's new book imprint. The imprint, called An Oprah Book, will roll out nonfiction books that Oprah thinks are fantastic. The first book from the imprint will hit bookstores on January 3, 2017. It is a cookbook called Food, Health and Happiness.

The second book to be released is The Black Angels: The Untold Story of the Nurses Who Helped Cure Tuberculosis by Maria Smilios. The book tells the true story of 300 black nurses who were hired when the other nurses all quit en masse during a devastating tuberculosis outbreak in 1929.

At Seaview, the 2000 bed Staten Island TB sanatorium, the patients were left in the lurch when the white nurses staged a walk out. A national call was put out for "colored Nurses." Thrilled with the chance to work at a top hospital, with free housing and no segregation, these 300 women went to work in a very high risk environment. In 1929 there were no antibiotics to treat TB. It wasn't until 1944 that streptomycin was used to combat the disease. Today, multiple antibiotics are used to treat TB.

Patients were sent to sanatoriums, preferably in a place with clean air where they received various physical therapy treatments. Working in a sanatorium was a dangerous job, but these women did what was necessary. Their actions helped stave off a major public health disaster.

Oprah Winfrey said in a statement, "At my core I am a storyteller and teacher, and I believe in books. The Black Angels is a story that hasn’t been told and I felt it needed to be shared." The book will be released in 2018.

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