Over the next 30 days, The Birmingham Buff will feature 30 remarkable women who have made their mark on Birmingham’s history.
Woman You Should Know #11
Beatrice Muse Price was born in Bessemer and moved to Greensboro in Hale County when she was three. Growing up, Price, a granddaughter of slaves, knew she wanted something different than what others may have wanted for her. The fear of being stuck in the county’s dirt served as motivation. “They told me if my grades weren’t good enough, I’d be sent back to the kitchens or the fields,” she said in this interview.
Good grades paved the way for her to study nursing in Atlanta, and she eventually served in the Army Nurses Corps from 1944 to 1948. At one time, she was assigned to a group of Tuskegee Airmen as they trained at Lockbourne Army Airfield, near Columbus, Ohio.
Before Price went to Lockbourne, she worked at an army hospital with only eight other black nurses. In an interview, she remembered the pressure she and the others were under to prove they were just as qualified. “It was a struggle,” she said.
After her time in the Army, Price moved to Birmingham and worked as a nurse for 34 years at the Veterans Administration hospital.
In 2012, Price was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for her service during World War II.