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Alabama artist creates monument to honor and inspire women

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 7:09 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - An Alabama artist is working to create monuments to honor the stories of three black women and the role they played in healthcare.

Artist Michelle Browder says since living in Montgomery, she has learned stories about black women that are not often talked about. Browder explained the stories of Arnocka, Lucy, and Betsy.

“I learned that James Marion Sims would operate on three women and others without anesthesia and without consent,” Browder said.

Browder says it’s important that the community knows these stories and the role black women have played in healthcare. So, Browder has constructed a monument to honor those women and inspire present and future generations of women.

“If you ever had a pap smear that sims retractor those instruments were used on women in Alabama,” Browder added.

Actress Tatyana Ali is one woman who is inspired by Browder’s work and says it’s allowed her to see how people are solving big problems within the community.

“There are a lot ailing black women in terms of black maternal health, but we’re also incredibly resilient, and there are women who have survived and thrived,” Ali said.

Browder hopes people take away that they are more than when they see the monument she has created.

“I want them to see that there is so much more to this story and that we are not sharing with the world the hidden gems,” Browder said.

“These monuments are a power to give strength and power to give life, and I think that is important that we be reminded of,” Ali said.

While the first monument has not yet been completed, Browder will also erect two more.

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