NOLA4Women: The Women’s Auxiliary of Flint-Goodridge Hospital

There are few records available documenting the contributions of the Women’s Auxiliary of Flint-Goodridge Hospital, but what is known about the group’s work is a significant part of New Orleans women’s history. The auxiliary was established in 1932, as a fundraising organization to benefit the only African American hospital in the city, Flint-Goodridge Hospital. Its founding members were Marie Burbridge, who served as president of the auxiliary for twelve years, Lydia Sindos, Dixie Harney, and Leah Chase. Philanthropist, Rosa Freeman Keller was an active member of the auxiliary and she also served on the hospital's board for many years.

The Women’s Auxiliary of Flint-Goodridge Hospital sponsored annual fundraising events and programs. It’s most well-known event was the 1958 Ebony Fashion Fair, which was spearheaded by Jessie Covington Dent, the wife of Albert W. Dent, then president of Dillard University. Jessie Dent approached publisher and business leader, John H. Johnson, regarding a charity fundraiser to benefit Flint-Goodridge Hospital. She hoped Johnson would supply some models for a fashion show; however, he was reluctant to do so. He was willing to supply clothing for the show and an agreement was reached that each ticket sold would include a subscription to Ebony and Jet Magazines, both published by Johnson’s company. The first show, in New Orleans, was a huge success and led to the formation of the Ebony Fashion Fair as it is known today.

Images from the Dunn-Landry Family papers and the Rosa Freeman Keller papers. Amistad’s website, newsletters, and blogs cannot be reproduced without permission.

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