Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey Monument
The Mothers of Gynecology
For the first time since the civil rights movement there is a national reckoning around race in America. The More Up Campus seeks to participate in this reckoning by finding creative ways to honor the voiceless, the minimized, the ignored. The erection of the “Mothers of Gynecology” monument honors the sacrifice of Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey, the enslaved experimental subjects of the so-called “father of gynecology,” J. Marion Sims.
More Up is located in Montgomery, Alabama, and the “Mothers of Gynecology” monument stands not far from where Sims’s dastardly experiments were conducted. Drawing on a comprehensive re-examination of Sims’s career, and never-before-seen archival documents that reveal the lives and fates of Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey, the “Mothers of Gynecology” acts as a first step toward teaching and reimagining the true story of the nation, facing the injustice of the past and honoring the courage of overlooked heroes.
THE MOTHERS OF GYNECOLOGY MONUMENT
17 Mildred St., Montgomery, AL
Wednesday - Sunday
12 - 4 PM
The Mothers of Gynecology
Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey were
enslaved women from plantations
in and around Montgomery,
Alabama. With neither consent nor
anesthesia, they were experimented
upon by Dr. J. Marion Sims in the
1840s. After publishing the results
of his “success,” Sims moved to
New York to seek fame and fortune.
Within a decade, he became known
as the Father of Gynecology.
By contrast, Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey fell into history. They changed the world, only to beforgotten by it.
This 15-foot monument honors Anarcha,
Lucy, and Betsey, telling their story
and shining a light on ongoing racial
disparities in the healthcare industry
today. The monument stands as a
symbol of all of the enslaved women
who were experimented upon in the
quixotic pursuit of a modern “science” of
gynecology, by Sims and many others.
Learn more about Anarcha, Lucy,
and Betsey here.
3 campus renovation projects
THE MOTHERS OF GYNECOLOGY HEALTH AND WELLNESS MUSEUM AND CLINIC
A brick storefront building constructed c. 1900, 33 S. Perry Street is located on property that was historically owned and operated by Dr. J. Marion Sims during the 1840s and the site of his experiments on Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey. The building will become The Mothers of Gynecology Health and Wellness Museum and Clinic. The space will provide hope, healing, and history to communities of uninsured women and a healing space for gynecologists, medical practitioners, doulas and midwives to offer primary and prenatal care, consultations, programming and assistance. The museum will teach the history of gynecology through the lenses of Anarcha, Lucy and Betsey.
The Creative Changemakers Museum is an innovative experience of art and history. Expression and innovation are key to fostering the minds of the next generation. The museum will explore the unknown history of how Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey, and the City of Montgomery, played a crucial role in the history of medicine. That history is changing lives even today, in Africa. Art, music, and conversation changes narratives and heals wounds of indifference. Travelers to the museum, of all ages, will be inspired to become Creative Changemakers.
THE MORE UP TRAVEL CENTER
The Travel Center will accommodate (32-beds) and educate travelers and activists visiting the Montgomery area through an established curriculum of art, true historical exploration, and critical thinking -- inspiring participants to engage in social justice activism when returning to their own communities.
17 Mildred Street, Montgomery, AL 36104