Bowens Beverly


Bowens Beverly


Vanessa Saric


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Download Interview Audio (58.9 MB)


Beverly Bowens was born in Portland, Maine, in 1934, and grew up on Munjoy Hill. She had one older brother. Her father was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin; her mother’s family had been in Portland for generations. She graduated from Portland High School, attended Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, and then moved to New York City to attend Teacher’s College at Columbia University; as of this interview, she had a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a master’s degree in nursing administration, and a master’s degree in institutional education. She married a surgeon and they had one daughter; her husband died when their daughter was eighteen months old. As of this interview, she had two grandchildren. She had a long career in nursing.

She discusses her nursing career, differences between living in Maine and living in New York City, her experience raising her daughter, lessons learned from her parents, growing up on Munjoy Hill, affirmative action, and a picture she brought to the interview of herself and her brother at Rankin’s Drugstore in 1937.



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Portland, ME


1934, Portland High School, Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, North School, Jack Junior High School, Munjoy Hill, St. Peter’s annual bazaar, African American nurse, Teacher’s College at Columbia University, affirmative action, Rankin’s Drugstore

Bowens Beverly