Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 316
…Well, he said that you had a reputation for helpin’ girls like me, you know, white girls not affording no more children and a husband out at sea….
“When did you notice that somethin’ wasn’t right?” Campbell had put his stethoscope to her lower belly earlier and came to an early conclusion. He wants to peel away the layers of her previous treatment. “And why did you come to me, ‘stead of Doc Wright?”
“Well, he said that you had a reputation for helpin’ girls like me, you know, white girls not affording no more children and a husband out at sea.”
“Really… all the way from Jacksonville and he knows ‘bout a little ol’ black doctor in the Panhandle. Did he tell you I ain’t got a wing at my hospital for white folks? My doctor friends don’t think I have the right to fix up whites. I reckon you all must have different colored blood under that pale skin; Blue blood Confederates are you?” A.O. knows that the lies he was told as a youth, was that slaves were inferior to their white masters. He has left much of that emancipation baggage behind, though the memory of being rushed across the railroad trestle still is fresh in his 20th century mind. The saying of that time was, ‘Once a slave, always a slave.’
How ironic it is. White folks have the money to pay for his services, but they cannot occupy a single bed at LBMH. House calls and services rendered at FAMU Hospital do not put a dent in the $250,000 mortgage, now a mighty anchor tied around his ankle. His beds are occupied by people caught in the margins of society.
“You have to help me Doc Campbell, my baby ain’t movin’, I know it.”
“Do what’s right Mr. Campbell!” Enter Mrs. Mary Gray. She had been mulling around in the background, watching her daughter, Audrie Franich, twisting A.O.’s arm in an attempt to bring this nightmare to an end. “My little girl needs some way out of this mess.”
Mary Gray’s tone was not at all kind, downright demanding. It was like she was making a deal with the Devil; the only way out, but distasteful none-the-less. She appears to not have much use for black folk, though it may be a fruitless prejudice, especially in northern Florida. But unavoidable does not translate into acceptance.
“Go in and see Nurse Lillie and tell her to take you to Room 205.” Down and down the slippery slope. A.O. Campbell has a soft spot for folks that have seemingly nowhere else to turn.
(Lera Lynn music featured on True Detective)