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Jeffrey Green

Born in Trinidad, John Alcindor was among the first black West Indians to practise medicine in Britain. Winning an Island Scholarship enabled him to study medicine at Edinburgh University, from where he graduated in 1899 with first‐class honours in three subjects. He was among delegates from the Edinburgh‐based Afro‐West Indian Literary Society to the 1900 Pan‐African Conference, where he met and developed friendships with Samuel Coleridge‐Taylor and W. E. B. Du Bois. Moving to London, Alcindor practised his profession in the city's hospitals, and for several years played cricket for the Mill Hill Park club. His marriage to Minnie Alcindor (née Martin) in 1911 produced three sons. In 1917 Alcindor established his own medical practice, and also worked as a Poor Law medical officer. He published three scholarly studies on his research.

Alcindor was a founder member of the African Progress Union over which he was elected president in ...

Article

Jeffrey Green

Manager of a hostel for Africans in London in the 1920s and wife of Dr John Alcindor. Born in London of a French father, raised by her mother's family, she trained as a journalist. She was disowned by her family after her marriage in 1911 to John Alcindor, a Trinidadian.

While raising their three children, John (1912), Cyril (1914), and Roland (Bob, 1917), Alcindor also assisted her husband in his west London medical practice, often dealing with patients herself when the Harrow Road surgery was closed.

Along with her husband, Alcindor was active in the Pan‐Africanist movement (see Pan‐Africanism), and during the early 1920s was one of only two white women to serve on the committee of the London‐based African Progress Union, over which her husband presided from 1921.

Her husband's death in 1924 left the ...

Article

David Killingray

Medical doctor and Pan‐Africanist.

Born in Barbados, Clarke won an island scholarship and came to London in 1914 to study medicine. He graduated from Cambridge in 1918 and qualified as a surgeon two years later. He set up a medical practice in Southwark, south‐east London, where he worked until 1965.

Clarke was a founder member of the League of Coloured Peoples (LCP) in 1931 and active in encouraging and also providing generous financial support for various Pan‐African causes. Clarke was non‐partisan and enjoyed good relations with the left and right Pan‐African factions in the 1930s–1940s, and this enabled him to act as a mediator in planning for the Conference on the African Peoples, Democracy, and World Peace held in London in July 1939 Many Caribbean and African visitors to Britain stayed at Clarke s home in Barnet which was also used for some LCP social functions for ...

Article

David Dabydeen

African‐American physician, abolitionist, soldier, and black nationalist who fought for the emancipation and self‐reliance of Blacks. Delany was born in Charleston, Virginia, to a free mother and a slave father. Due to his mother's free status, he was deemed free as well. All his life Delany insisted on the need for black people to recognize and absorb their African heritage and culture. As such, he anticipated the rise of Pan‐Africanism. He rejected notions about the inferiority of Blacks, promoting instead the values of self‐sufficiency and entrepreneurial effort. He advocated emigration rather than subjection to racial harassment at home. In July 1859 he sailed to West Africa and signed a treaty with the King of Nigeria on 27 December 1859 that permitted Blacks linked with Delany to settle in vacant tribal lands. In 1860 he arrived in Britain seeking financial assistance for his project In ...

Article

Doctors  

Jane Poyner

For much of the 19th century medical practice in Britain did not enjoy high status, although by 1860 the old system of training through apprenticeship was in decline. An Act of 1858 established the General Medical Council, which began to police practitioners but did not make unqualified practice illegal. Nevertheless, in the next 20 years medical training had become more professional, more scientifically based, and the practice of medicine more highly esteemed. Training lasted several years and was costly. Increased numbers of qualified doctors made for an overcrowded profession. There was little scientific education in colonial secondary schools, and full medical training was not available in the British West Indies or in the African colonies, although in the mid‐19th century Fourah Bay College, Freetown, Sierra Leone, provided some basic pre‐medical instruction; the Yaba Medical Training College in Nigeria was not opened until 1930 and then only to award diplomas ...

Article

Lola Young

The science of selective breeding for the health of a race, considered to have directly contributed to racist theorizing.

1.Galton, eugenics, and racial superiority

2.Eugenics and the health of the nation

Article

Peter Fraser

Eugenicist and statistician. A cousin of Charles Darwin, Galton's interests in statistics (he founded the science of biostatistics) and genetics led him to the idea that selective breeding to improve the human race would lead to the development of ‘a galaxy of genius’. He first set out these thoughts in an article published in 1865 but at the same time demonstrated that his views on the differences between ‘races’ was conventional: to him Africans were lazy, stupid, and cruel. The basic theory that underlay his political eugenics programme was that, heredity being more important than environment, selective breeding was the only way to improve humanity.

His lasting legacies were his use of statistics and his research into heredity but he is best known for his eugenics programme Though his own interpretation of eugenics tended to be fairly benign focusing on research into hereditary disease or supporting the intelligent ...

Article

David Killingray

West African medical doctor, army officer, and political writer born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the son of a liberated slave. He went to school and studied at Fourah Bay Institute with a view to entering the Christian ministry. However, along with two other men, he was selected in 1853 to study medicine in Britain with a view to returning to West Africa as an army medical officer. Horton studied first at King's College London and graduated from Edinburgh in 1859. He was very conscious that he was an African and adopted the name ‘Africanus’. Commissioned into the Army, he returned to West Africa, where he spent twenty years practising as a military doctor and occasionally serving as an administrator. He retired as a lieutenant‐colonel in 1880 Early in his career many of his white fellow doctors resented his role and they persuaded the War Office not to appoint ...

Article

Nazneen Ahmed

Alias of Azaj Warqnah Ishete (1865–1952), Ethiopia's first modern‐trained physician and Ethiopian Minister to London at the time of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. Born in Gondar, at the age of 3 Ishete was abandoned by his family during the capture of the fortress of Magada in 1868. Two British officers took him to India, assumed responsibility for his education, and christened him Charles Martin. Martin graduated from Lahore Medical College in 1882, becoming a medical officer in Burma in 1891. He was reunited with his family and his Ethiopian name on his visit to Addis Ababa in 1899. On another trip in 1908 as temporary medical officer in the British legation he treated the ailing Emperor Menilek. In 1919 he returned to Ethiopia to settle practising medicine and undertaking various forms of development work including the founding ...

Article

Jeffrey Green

In the 1850s the Medical Register was established in Britain. It listed those who were entitled to practise. Nurses and dentists had yet to be treated in this manner. Communities continued to trust individuals who attended mothers in childbed, herbalists, and those who could set broken bones. There were charlatans, the makers of dubious remedies, fairground fakers, and abortionists. Black people had a part in all of this, with gullible patients seeing extra powers in their very appearance.

James McClune Smith, a New Yorker who qualified in medicine at Glasgow University in the 1830s, returned to practise in New York. Active in the anti‐slavery movement, Smith's British experience is known through his recollections of the actor Ira Aldridge. Less public medical personnel are more difficult to identify.

Sierra Leonean Africans were the first qualify under the 1858 legislation. William Davies and James Africanus Horton qualified in London ...

Article

David Killingray

Pan‐Africanistcampaigner born in the colony of British Guiana and educated at Queen's College, Georgetown. He graduated from the medical school of Howard University, Washington DC, in 1910, and then went to work in the Panama Canal Zone. Shortly after the First World War, he came to Britain and secured a medical qualification from the University of Edinburgh in 1923. Milliard settled in Manchester in the early 1930s, practised as a doctor, and also began to promote the interests and welfare of the small black population of the city. In 1935 he helped to found the International African Friends of Abyssinia and spoke at open‐air meetings, where he denounced the Italian invasion of Ethiopia and colonial policies. In 1943Milliard founded the Negro Association which held monthly meetings Its membership which rarely exceeded 80 people during the next ten years was composed of students black service personnel ...

Article

Amon Saba Sakaana

Black doctor and activist. Harold Moody was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1882 and arrived in London in 1904 to study medicine. His mother, a dark woman, was aware of the liability of black skin in colonial Jamaica for she advised her son to make friends with those fairer than himself. Moody's father worked on the Panama Canal and returned with enough money to open a pharmacy. Moody was sent to a prestigious school in Kingston run by Sir William Morrison, and was then transferred to Woolmer's Free School until 1899. His scholarship was sound, and upon graduation he opened his own school, where he taught for some time. From his very early beginnings Moody was a devout Christian, becoming secretary of the Christian Endeavour Society at the age of 19. He also was a preacher at two churches in Kingston.

As early as 1912 Moody was ...

Article

Amon Saba Sakaana

Jamaicansculptor working in Britain. Ronald Moody was born on 20 August 1900 in Kingston, Jamaica, the youngest of six children. He attended Calabar College in Jamaica, and, following the aspirations of his family, he chose to study dentistry. He duly arrived in Britain in 1923 and attended King's College London, where he graduated in 1930 and found employment in London as a dentist. His initial fascination with sculpture was expressed through experiments with plasticine; he then graduated to clay, then wood and bronze. His first sculpture in wood was the piece Wohin, expressing his interest in European classical composers. His first public exhibition was at the New Burlington Galleries in a group show in 1935. His primary patron was the Italian director Alberto Cavalcanti, whose contacts with Paris led him to his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Billiet‐Vorms in 1937 The impact was electric among ...

Article

Jenny Douglas

The National Health Service (NHS) was established in 1948 to provide free and accessible health care for all. Labour shortages in crucial areas such as nursing led to recruitment campaigns throughout the Caribbean for workers to staff this new public service. Ironically, the recruitment drive was led by the Minister of Health, Enoch Powell MP, who would later emerge as one of the most vociferous anti‐immigration politicians. Powell's brief was to recruit nurses and other support workers from the Caribbean to help build the nascent NHS. Nurses were recruited from across the English‐speaking Caribbean but primarily from Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, and Guyana. Doctors also came from the Caribbean.

Early studies showed that black women from the Caribbean who migrated to England in the 1950s and 1960s were channelled into ancillary and auxiliary jobs within the NHS Even when they attempted to undertake nursing training many were offered training opportunities within ...

Article

Michael Niblett

Lord Pitt of Hampstead, general practitioner and politician born in St David's, Grenada, the son of Cyril S. L. Pitt. A prominent figure in Caribbean politics in the 1940s, Pitt later became involved with the Labour Party in Britain. He provided active support to a number of charity organizations and social campaigns throughout his career, playing a significant role in the Anti‐Apartheid Movement (AAM). His medical career was equally distinguished, and in 1985 he was elected president of the British Medical Association. Always keen to ensure that the political establishment remained relevant and accessible to the public, Pitt became well known as a spokesperson for those who felt marginalized by the system and for encouraging their participation in electoral politics and other institutional bodies. The Lord Pitt Foundation was established in 1983 to mark his seventieth birthday After his death the Race Equality Unity launched the annual Lord ...

Article

Cecily Jones

African‐Americanabolitionist and women's rights campaigner born in Salem, Massachusetts, to John and Nancy Lenox Remond, free middle‐class Blacks. Despite her family's wealth, racial discrimination within the northern segregated school system meant that she received a limited education and she was primarily self‐educated. Raised in a family that included many abolitionists, Remond learned from childhood of the horrors of slavery and witnessed many incidents involving the Underground Railroad. Her parents played host to many of the movement's leaders, including William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips, and to more than one fugitive slave.

At the age of 16 Remond began to join her brother Charles Lenox Remond, the leading abolitionist of his day, on anti‐slavery lecture circuits across northern states. A vociferous opponent of both slavery and of the racial segregation that existed in the ‘free’ North, in 1853 she successfully won a case for damages for ...

Article

Doctor and writer who was born in Jamaica and grew up in Stewart Town. He studied medicine in Glasgow, later touring Scotland and Ireland to raise funds for Africans to Christianize Africa. He left for the Congo in 1886, where he ran a sanatorium. He returned to Europe in 1887 and eventually took an MD degree at Brussels in 1893; in the same year he went to the African Training Institute at Colwyn Bay, a training school for Africans. He went to Calabar, Nigeria, for the Institute. This experience stimulated his writing, and in 1899 he published The British Empire and Alliances: Britain's Duty to Her Colonies and Subject Races, in which he attacked the disparagement of Africans and pointed out the similarities across societies in development. In 1903 his Chamberlain and Chamberlainism: His Fiscal Policies and Colonial Policy attacked the controversial Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain ...

Article

Jane Robinson

Jamaicannurse, hotelier, entrepreneur, writer, and heroine of the Crimean War. She was born Mary Grant, but no official records of her birth or parentage exist; in her autobiography, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands (1857), she stated her father to be a soldier of Scottish descent (possibly James Grant of the 60th Regiment of Foot) and her Creole mother to be the keeper of a Kingston hotel, Blundell Hall, and a well‐respected ‘doctress’, skilled in the traditional African use of herbal remedies. Her mother's guests and patients included British army officers garrisoned in Kingston, and Grant enjoyed a close relationship with the Army all her life. She had one sister, Louisa Grant (c.1815–1905), and a half‐brother, Edward Ambleton, who died during the 1850s.

Grant was educated by an elderly woman described in the autobiography as my kind ...