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Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a fatal disease caused by the slow-acting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The virus multiplies in the body until it causes immune system damage, leading to diseases of the AIDS syndrome. HIV emerged in Africa in the 1960s and traveled to the United States and Europe the following decade. In the 1980s it spread silently across the globe until it became pandemic, or widespread. Some areas of the world were already significantly affected by AIDS, while in others the epidemic was just beginning. The virus is transmitted mainly via sexual fluids, but also by blood, from mother to child in the womb, and during delivery or breast-feeding. AIDS first was identified in the United States and France in 1981, principally among homosexual men. Then in 1982 and 1983 heterosexual Africans also were diagnosed Today AIDS poses a threat to the survival of millions especially ...

Article

Caroline M. Fannin

Despite gender and race discrimination, and despite the small numbers of black women active in aviation, black women have contributed notably to the encouragement of black Americans’ participation in aviation and to the furtherance of aerospace research.

Article

South African surgeon who carried out the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant, was born into an impoverished Afrikaner family at Beaufort West, South Africa, on 8 November 1922. His father, the Reverend Adam Hendrik Barnard, was a clergyman of the Dutch Reformed Church for Coloured, or mixed-race, people, and his mother was Maria Elisabeth de Swart. He was educated at Beaufort West High School before training as a doctor at the University of Cape Town’s medical school, where he graduated MB, ChB, in 1945. Having done his internship at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, he worked for a short time as a rural general practitioner in Ceres, in the western Cape, before returning to Cape Town to become senior medical officer at City Hospital and then registrar at Groote Schuur Hospital. In 1953 he gained his MD for his dissertation The Treatment of Tuberculosis Meningitis Later ...

Article

Joann Buckley

the son of Richard J. Bass, a shoe and clothing salesman, and Rosa Bass. Urbane and his five brothers and sisters grew up on East Duval Street in Richmond. After graduating from Virginia Union University in 1902, he earned his medical degree at Leonard Medical College of Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1906. While there he met his future wife, Maude Vass, sister of another Leonard student, Rufus Vass.

After he married Maude, Bass opened a practice in his hometown, Richmond, Virginia. By 1909 the couple had moved to Fredericksburg, where he became the city’s first African American physician since Reconstruction to establish a medical practice and pharmacy. Bass’s practice on William Street was well received by the African American community. By 1917 his practice was growing as was his family nevertheless when America entered World War I this father of four volunteered One of ...

Article

Eric Bennett

Due to its tectonic history, weather patterns, and sheer longitudinal sprawl—7,918 km (4,920 mi)—from Tunis, Tunisia to Cape Town, South Africa), Africa contains an extraordinary variety of habitats. As a result, measurements of species diversity, average biomass, and “primary productivity” (amount of energy plants photosynthesize) vary immensely. In addition, the flora and fauna of Africa have evolved and adapted according to specific local and regional conditions, which have, in turn, been influenced by global patterns and epochal changes. Thus the Climate and Geomorphology of Africa play primary roles in the determination of biological diversity Although the complexity of life in Africa limits the use of simple categories the continent may be roughly classified into a small number of biomes or ecological types Scientists use biomes to classify large regions of relative uniformity where soil plants animals and weather suggest a continuity of condition A biome most ...

Article

Elizabeth Mitchell

slave and guide, achieved fame in the decades preceding the Civil War. Nothing is known of his parents or early life, but it is known that Bishop was a slave belonging to Kentucky lawyer Franklin Gorin, who in the 1830s purchased Mammoth Cave for $5,000. Previous cave guides had been local white men, but Gorin either saw something promising in the teenaged Bishop or reasoned that he could save money by training a slave to do the same work. Either way, beginning in the spring of 1838 Bishop received training from the previous guide and quickly took to the job, learning the several miles of trail and numerous pits, rock formations, and other attractions of his underground place of employment.

Bishop was allowed to spend many hours exploring the cave on his own. In the fall of 1838 he penetrated a confusing maze of trails known as the ...

Article

Sharla M. Fett

The history of African American women’s childbearing is one of cultural resilience and profound structural oppression. Far more than a mere biological event, childbirth has been an important social and religious experience in African American communities. At the same time, slavery, poverty, and discrimination have strongly shaped the social realities of childbearing for many black women. Despite important changes in birth practices over the last three centuries, the experiences of pregnancy and childbirth continue to be closely connected to the broader political and economic struggles of African American women.

From the many cultures of West and Central Africa captive women carried their understandings of birth into the slave societies of the New World Though widely varied African gender systems emphasized the importance of motherhood and fertility to women s social identity and family lineage Captivity by slave traders brought African social institutions of childbirth into a collision with slavery s ...

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educational psychologists. Kenneth Bancroft Clark (b. 24 July 1914; d. 1 May 2005) and Mamie Katherine Phipps Clark (b. 18 April 1917; d. 11 August 1983) were husband-and-wife collaborators who studied the relationship between racial identity and children's self-esteem and development.

Kenneth Clark was born in 1914 in the Panama Canal Zone, where his father, Arthur, worked for the United Fruit Company. In 1919 his mother Miriam decided to move to America so she separated from her husband and moved to Harlem with Kenneth and his younger sister When Kenneth was in junior high school a career counselor recommended that he prepare for a vocational trade but his mother who was earning a very low wage as a seamstress insisted that he transfer to a school where he would have a rigorous course of study He went on to earn his bachelor s ...

Article

Constance Porter Uzelac

aviator, was born Elizabeth Coleman in Atlanta, Texas, the daughter of George Coleman, a day laborer of predominantly Indian descent, and Susan (maiden name unknown), an African American domestic and farmworker. While Bessie was still very young, the family moved to Waxahachie, Texas, where they built a three-room house on a quarter-acre of land. She was seven when her father left his family to return to the Indian Territory (Oklahoma). The Coleman household was Baptist, and Bessie was an avid reader who became particularly interested in Booker T. Washington, Harriet Tubman, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. After finishing high school, she studied for one semester at Langston Industrial College, in Langston, Oklahoma.

Between 1912 and 1917 Coleman joined her two brothers in Chicago where she studied manicuring at Burnham s School of Beauty Culture and worked at the White Sox Barber Shop She supplemented her income ...

Article

Elizabeth Hadley Freydberg

Born in Atlanta, Texas Elizabeth Coleman was the twelfth of thirteen children Her mother Susan Coleman was African American Her father George Coleman was three quarters Choctaw Indian and one quarter African While Bessie was still a toddler the Coleman family moved to Waxahachie Texas an agricultural and trade center that produced cotton grain and cattle The town was about thirty miles south of Dallas and was recognized as the cotton capital of the West There the Coleman family made a living from picking cotton George Coleman built a three room house on a quarter acre of land but by the time Bessie was seven years old he had returned to Choctaw country in Oklahoma Susan Coleman continued to raise nine children alone as she also continued to harvest in the fields pick cotton and do domestic work to make ends meet When the children became old enough usually ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Senegalese medical researcher and government minister of health, was born in 1951 in Dakar, Senegal. She attended primary and secondary schools in Dakar, where she drew attention because of her aptitude for science and her athleticism. She played on the Senegalese national women’s basketball team in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Coll-Seck received a medical degree from the University of Dakar in 1978 and commenced her medical practice the same year. She worked as a doctor in hospitals in the French city of Lyons as well as her hometown of Dakar in the late 1970s and the 1980s.

In 1989 Coll-Seck was named to the faculty of the medical school of the University of Dakar and chief medical officer of infectious diseases at the Dakar public hospital. In the 1990s Coll Seck was noticed by the international medical and public health community for her ...

Article

Caroline DeVoe

businessman, landowner, farmer, and lynching victim, was born into slavery in Abbeville, South Carolina, the youngest son of Thomas and Louisa, slaves on the plantation of Ben Crawford in Abbeville, South Carolina. After Emancipation and Ben Crawford's death, his widow Rebecca may have bequeathed land to her former slave, Thomas, Anthony's father. Thomas continued to acquire land, and in 1873 he purchased 181 acres of fertile land from Samuel McGowan, a former Confederate general and South Carolina Supreme Court Justice. Thomas Crawford's “homeplace” was located in an alluvial valley, approximately seven miles west of the town of Abbeville. The rich land was flanked on the east by Little River and on the west by Penny Creek.

While Crawford's brothers worked the family farm Anthony was sent to school walking seven miles to and from school each day Seventeen year old Anthony was ...

Article

Timothy Konhaus

However, because of his vehement political and social critiques of the United States, Delany is often relegated to the shadows of his contemporary, Frederick Douglass. Like Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois in the early twentieth century, Delany and Douglass represent a point-counterpoint in American history. Unlike Washington and Du Bois, however, Delany and Douglass were at times business partners and friends despite their conflicting social views.

Delany was born in Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1812, the son of Pati Peace, a free black woman, and Samuel Delany, a slave father. In 1822 his family moved north to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. In 1831 Delany went to Pittsburgh to study under the Reverend Lewis Woodson, an ardent black separatist. Delany also began studying medicine under the direction of several Pittsburgh doctors while serving as a cupper and bleeder.

In 1843 Delany began ...

Article

Susanne Freidberg

Until the end of World War II, the term development generally referred to biological growth processes, and its economic significance was only metaphorical. But development acquired a new meaning when President Harry Truman introduced a term that implied the antithesis in his inaugural speech in 1949:

We must embark on a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of the underdeveloped areas. More than half of the people of the world are living in conditions approaching poverty. … Their poverty is a handicap and a threat to both them and to more prosperous areas….

Thus development was defined as a need and a goal as soon as certain areas among them the entire African continent were defined as underdeveloped Within several years development became an important field of study in economics sociology and other social sciences ...

Article

Samir Amin and Jesse Ribot

At the end of four decades of postwar development, the results are so varied that one is tempted to reject the common expression “Third World” when describing all the countries that have been the subject of development policies over these decades. Today, we justifiably oppose a newly industrialized competitive Third World to a marginalized “Fourth World,” to which Africa in its entirety belongs.

Article

Eric Bennett

Ecosystems across the globe are in danger of becoming desertified. Desertification is of particular concern in countries where population growth and economic disadvantage exacerbate ecological instability. Africa has many such countries, especially in the Sahel region near the southern border of the Sahara.

Hundreds of qualified people have tried to explain desertification, but no consensus exists because the process invokes questions of sociology, biology, politics, and culture. The history of African desertification has included recurring conflicts between and among peasants, pastoralists, European colonial regimes, intrusive local governments, and international environmental organizations. Often one party will brandish inconclusive scientific data against another, clouding conflicts that were already murky. The social and scientific complexity of desertification leaves more questions than answers. Are “natural” cycles or human abuses the greater culprit?

A careful look at the actual physical processes in arid semiarid and subhumid environments helps to clarify the problem Scientists have ...

Article

Patricia E. Bonner

Formerly, the term “elderly” conventionally distinguished the subgroups of the older population as the “young old” (ages sixty-five to seventy-four); the “old old” (ages seventy-five to eighty-four); and the “oldest of the old” (ages eighty-five and above). However, by the early twenty-first century the older population had clearly changed in character, and the newer terms used to distinguish the elderly reflected that. In the early twenty-first century there were many people in their sixties and seventies who were healthy and active, and they were sometimes known as the “well-derly” group. On the other hand, because people were living longer, they often lived into their eighties and beyond, and many in this group were known as the “ill-derly.” The growth of this older population in America was projected to accelerate after about 2015 Even with the disparities in life expectancy among ethnic groups the numbers of old people in each ...

Article

Favelas  

Julio Cesar Pino

Favelas represent the plight and promise of the urban poor in Brazil. Although they can be found throughout the country, favelas are more numerous in Rio de Janeiro, once the nation's federal district (1889–1960) and still its second largest city. Shantytowns such as Rocinha and Jacarezinho have become an indelible part of the landscape of the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City). Other Brazilian metropolises—São Paulo, Salvador, Recife—have their own favelas, with populations numbering in the hundreds of thousands, but these settlements have not attained the political prominence or journalistic notoriety of the ones in Rio.

The favela is fundamentally different from inner city slums and tenements the type of poor people s housing prevalent in the developed world Tenements are usually rundown buildings owned by a landlord where the occupants pay rent Squatter settlements by contrast are units of self constructed housing built on terrain seized and ...

Article

Scott A. Miltenberger

James Forten was born into a free black family in Philadelphia. When he was eight he began working alongside his father at a sail loft owned by Robert Bridges. While working with his father, Forten attended the Quaker abolitionist Anthony Benezet's school for free blacks. With the death of his father, Forten, at age ten, ended his formal schooling and worked in a grocery store to support his mother.

When the Revolutionary War broke out, Forten convinced his mother to let him fight. He joined the crew of the American privateer vessel Royal Louis as a powder boy Captured by the British he languished on a prison ship for several months before being released Following the war he spent a year in England and upon returning to Philadelphia worked as a sailmaker s apprentice for Bridges s firm There he invented and perfected gear that made ...

Article

Omar H. Ali

developmental psychologist, educator, and national independent political leader, was born Lenora Branch in Chester, Pennsylvania. A youth leader in the black Baptist Church, Fulani grew up in a working-class black community; her mother, Pearl, was a nurse, and her father, Charles Lee, was a baggage carrier on the Pennsylvania Railroad. As a child, Fulani briefly participated in the public school desegregation process following Brown v. Board of Education (1954). While still in her early teens she decided to become a psychologist to help her immediate community; during the 1970s, reflecting her pride in being of African descent, she changed her surname to Fulani, the name of various West African nomadic groupings of people.

Fulani won a scholarship to Hofstra University on Long Island, New York, where she majored in psychology. Divorced when her two children, Ainka and Amani were still very young she ...