dentist, was born a slave in the Panthersville District of Dekalb County, Georgia. His mother (name unknown) was a slave, and his father, J. D. Badger was a white dentist and also his master Roderick had several brothers including Robert and Ralph all of whom had the same white father but different mothers In many ways his life story can be seen as an example of the complex relationships between the races in the antebellum and postbellum South where the black and white societies were supposed to be separate but where mixed race children were common growing ever more numerous in the decade leading up to the Civil War As the son of his owner Badger enjoyed the privileges associated with that status including his eventual freedom and prosperity However his status as a mulatto and as a professional man did not protect him from many of the ...
M. Cookie E. Newsom
Born in Blackstock, South Carolina, Jesse Barber was the son of former slaves. He trained as a teacher at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. His literary career began as editor of the University Journal at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia.
Immediately after his graduation from Virginia Union in 1903, Barber became managing editor of a new black journal, Voice of the Negro, founded in Atlanta, Georgia in January 1904. While the Voice initially sought a moderate position between accomodationists and activists, Barber made the journal a progressive forum. He was known at the time as a politically aware, radical thinker who sided with his friend, African American writer W. E. B. Du Bois, against black intellectual Booker T. Washington. In addition to Barber, Du Bois, and Washington, other writers for the Voice included Pauline Hopkins, Charles W. Chesnutt, and Paul ...
Ralph E. Luker
journalist, dentist, and civil rights activist, was born in Blackstock, South Carolina, the son of Jesse Max Barber and Susan Crawford, former slaves. Barber studied in public schools for African American students and at Friendship Institute in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where he graduated as valedictorian. In 1901 he completed the normal school course for teachers at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, and afterward entered Virginia Union University in Richmond. There Barber was president of the literary society and edited the University Journal. In 1903 Barber earned a bachelor's degree and spent the summer after graduation as a teacher and traveling agent for an industrial school in Charleston, South Carolina.
By November 1903, Barber had moved to Atlanta to accept an offer from a white publisher, Austin N. Jenkins, to assist in launching a new literary journal, the Voice of the Negro ...
Chandra M. Miller
dentist and politician, was born into slavery in North Carolina and was known as Samuel Nixon before his escape from bondage in 1855. Nothing is known about his parents. He was sold several times before being purchased by C. F. Martin, a dentist in Norfolk, Virginia. As Martin's slave, Nixon learned sufficient dentistry to serve as the doctor's assistant and to make dental house calls. He also developed bookkeeping skills and monitored the doctor's accounts.
In Norfolk, Nixon became involved with the Underground Railroad. Befriending the captains of many of the schooners sailing in and out of Norfolk, he often convinced them to hide fugitive slaves aboard ship and carry them north, usually to Philadelphia or to New Bedford, Massachusetts. After conducting many other slaves through the Underground Railroad, Nixon decided to become a passenger himself in March 1855 He and three other slaves disguised themselves and ...
Raymond Pierre Hylton
minister, author, physician, dentist, and missionary, was born in Winton, North Carolina. His father, Lemuel Washington Boone (1827–1878), was a prominent minister and politician, and one of the original trustees of Shaw University.
Boone received his early education at Waters Normal and Industrial Institute in Winton. From 1896 to 1899 he attended Richmond Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. In 1899, when the seminary merged with Wayland Seminary College of Meridian Hill in Washington, D.C., to form Virginia Union University and moved to its new Richmond campus at North Lombardy Street, Boone finished his senior year and became part of the university's first graduating class in 1900; he received the bachelor's of divinity degree.
During his final year at Virginia Union, Boone met Eva Roberta Coles from Charlottesville, Virginia, who studied at the neighboring African American women's institution, Hartshorn Memorial College, from which she graduated in 1899 ...
Alexander J. Chenault
dentist and pioneer in the field of public health, was born in Washington, D.C., on 14 October 1884, the son of John Robert and Blanche Maguire Brown. Roscoe was a superior student, serving as the senior captain of the cadet corps at the M Street High School, later known as the Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School in the District, from which he graduated in 1903. He then attended Howard University, having earned a scholarship. Brown received his dental degree from Howard University's College of Dentistry in 1906. Brown married the former Miss Vivian Jeanette Kemp, a public school teacher, in 1921, and together they had two children, a son, Roscoe Conkling Jr., and a daughter, Portia.
From 1907 to 1915 Brown practiced dentistry in Washington D C and then Richmond Virginia During this time he also taught hygiene and sanitation at the Richmond Hospital Training ...
Gregory Travis Bond
athlete, dentist, and politician, was born in Topeka, Kansas, to Gary W. Cable, a teacher and postal worker, and Mary Ellen Montgomery Cable, a public school administrator and civil rights activist. In 1894 the family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where Cable attended public school and graduated from integrated Shortridge High School in 1908. He moved on to the exclusive Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire for the next school year and enrolled at Harvard University in 1909.
Cable had not participated in organized athletics in high school, but he tried out for the freshman track team at Harvard and caught the eye of Coach Pat Quinn. With Quinn's guidance, Cable developed rapidly. In the annual Harvard-Yale freshman meet, he won the hammer throw and he also performed well in the 220-yard hurdles and the broad jump (now the long jump) in intramural competitions.
He easily made ...
Louis M. Abbey
periodontist, public health specialist, and educator, was born Clifton Orin Dummett in Georgetown, British Guiana (later Guyana), the youngest of four children of Eglantine Annabella Johnson, a homemaker, and Alexander Adolphus Dummett, a pharmacist and registered dentist. Clifton attended St. Phillips Elementary School from 1924 until 1930 and Queen's College high school from 1930 until 1936, both in Georgetown, British Guiana. His values were strongly influenced by his father, mother, and uncle, Reginald Johnson, an Edinburgh-trained public health physician in Georgetown. “I came from a family that believed in the equality of man. I respected all peoples and demanded similar respect from those with whom I came in contact” (personal communication with the author).
Right after high school, in 1936 Alexander Adolphus Dummett obtained a student visa for his son to study in the United States at Howard University in Washington D ...
Elvatrice Parker Belsches
dentist, dental and medical organizational leader, hospital founder, and author, was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, the oldest of the six children of William B. Ferguson and Cornelia Taylor Ferguson. William Ferguson was a noted educator in Portsmouth, Ohio, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and at the Christiansburg Industrial Institute in Virginia. David's brother George R. Ferguson, MD, served as assistant secretary for the National Medical Association (NMA), and his nephew William Ferguson Reid, MD, was the first African American elected to the Virginia legislature in the twentieth century.
In 1885 William Ferguson moved his family to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where David Ferguson completed grammar school and embarked upon the first of two invaluable dentistry apprenticeships. In 1889 Ferguson began apprenticing for the white dentist Dr. E. T. Barr for whom he worked until shortly before returning to Portsmouth Ohio to enter high school ...
Robert C. Hayden
dentist, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Waller Freeman. His mother's name is not known. His father, a carpenter in Raleigh, North Carolina, purchased his freedom from slavery in 1830. After purchasing his wife's freedom, he moved with her to Washington, D.C., where Robert T. Freeman was born, raised, and educated.
Freeman's early interest in medicine after high school led him to apply for a position as a dental assistant in the office of Dr. Henry Bliss Noble on Pennsylvania Avenue Impressed by Freeman s determination and earnestness Noble hired him and tutored him privately in the art and science of the practice of dentistry In light of strained race relations and rigid segregation in the nation s capital following the Civil War it was unusual to have a person of color working so close to white patients in a dental office Noble nevertheless ...
dentist, civil rights activist, and art and book collector, was born Jack Johnson Kimbrough in Lexington, Mississippi, the son of Samuel Gulbridge Kimbrough, a blacksmith, and Mary Hoover. Jack was named after the famed African American boxer Jack Johnson. When he was seven, the Kimbroughs, intimidated by local Ku Klux Klansmen and seeking better economic opportunities, moved from Mississippi to Alameda, California, where relatives resided. After graduating from Alameda High School in 1926 Jack attended Sacramento Junior College He continued his studies at the University of California at Berkeley where he studied chemistry while working as a janitor waiter cook and landscaper His interest in science as well as the relatively shorter time that it took to earn a dentistry degree than a medical degree persuaded him enroll in the University of California Dental School in San Francisco from which he graduated with ...
orthodontist, educator, and U.S. Army colonel, was born in Chicago, the son of Eugene Renfroe and Bertha. A 1921 graduate of Austin O. Sexton Grammar School, Renfroe attended James H. Bowen High School, where he was the first African American student in the school's history to achieve the rank of cadet commander in the Reserve Officers Training Corp (ROTC). This was one of many “firsts” that characterized his life.
Renfroe next enrolled at Crane Junior College, then he was admitted to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry. While there, he became the first student to tackle a full course load while also working full-time outside of the college. Undaunted by the difficulties of such a feat, he still managed to graduate first in a class of 127 dental students in 1931.
By the time Renfroe joined the Illinois National Guard in ...
Laura M. Calkins
dentist, was born in Clarkesville, Tennessee. To escape continuing antiblack discrimination and poverty after the Civil War, her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, when Gray was a youngster. She attended Cincinnati's racially segregated public schools, including Gaines High School, Ohio's first public high school for black students. Opened in 1866 the school was named for the black educator John I. Gaines and was administered by his nephew, the political activist and educator Peter Humphries Clark. Gaines High School provided classical as well as vocational instruction, and teacher training was added to the curriculum in 1868. The school gained a national reputation for academic excellence, and during the mid-1880s it produced scores of qualified black teachers annually.
Gray was determined to study dentistry. She found a willing and powerful mentor in Jonathan Taft, dean of the College of Dental Surgery at the University of Michigan. Until 1875 ...
J. D. Bowers
civil rights activist, religious pioneer, dentist, and investor, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, the youngest son of Thomas Gustavius Somerville, an Anglican minister. Little is known about his mother. He was educated in the Jamaican public schools, where he learned that social status and racial attitudes often triumphed over equality, and between 1897 and 1900 he attended and graduated from Mico College in Kingston with a teaching degree.
Rather than strain against the prevailing practices, Somerville left home for the United States in December 1901 at age nineteen in the company of a childhood friend seeking both adventure and a future devoid of racial intolerance Arriving in San Francisco with some money from his father Somerville quickly settled in Los Angeles a city whose prospects he considered promising Even in Los Angeles however he felt the pangs of America s racial prejudice He was ...
dentist, church leader, and founder of a local NAACP chapter, was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the second child and oldest son of Mahlon Van Horne, the pastor of Union Congregational Church, and Rachel Ann Huston Van Horne. The newborn was named for his grandfather, from Princeton, New Jersey, where Mahlon Van Horne was born and later attended the state's Livingston College.
Mathias Van Horne graduated from public school in 1885, which at the time meant finishing the eighth grade. Many young people in the nineteenth century went directly to work after that, at the ages of fourteen or fifteen. Van Horne attended Rogers High School in Newport for two years, then, at the age of sixteen, began work as a mailing clerk in the local post office, while remaining in his parents’ home at 47 John Street. In 1889 he graduated from Bryant ...
Charlotte S. Price
Born in Annapolis, Maryland, on February 2, 1880, John Edwin Washington received his education in Washington, D.C., where he lived with his grandmother, Caroline Washington, in her boarding house on E Street, just around the corner from the old Ford Theater. He graduated from Miner Normal School in 1900. Working his way through Howard University, he earned a bachelor of pedagogy degree in 1901 and a doctor of dental surgery degree in 1904. In July 1904 he received his license to practice dentistry in the District of Columbia.
For the next fifty years Washington successfully combined the two careers for which he had prepared himself. He taught in the Washington public schools and conducted a part-time practice of dentistry. In 1924 he received a B A degree with a major in art from Howard University He was a teaching principal in the ...
author, printer, and dentist, was born in Augusta, Georgia, the fourth of five children of John Willson, a Scots-Irish banker, and Elizabeth Keating, a free woman of color. Although they never married, Elizabeth eventually took Willson's last name. Shortly before his death in 1822, John Willson wrote a will leaving his “housekeeper” (the term he used to describe Elizabeth's role in his household) and her children two hundred shares of stock in the Bank of Augusta and appointed his friend, the prominent attorney John P. King, as their guardian (by the time Willson wrote his will, Georgia law required free people of color to have a white guardian to administer their property). King sent young Joseph to school in Alabama but he and Elizabeth agonized about the family s prospects given that the Georgia legislature seemed intent on restricting virtually every aspect ...