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Donna A. Patterson

Senegalese politician, pharmacist, and author, was born in Saint-Louis, Senegal, on 30 September 1922. His father worked as a colonial official, and his mother was a homemaker. In 1935, Diop’s father died; his mother followed two years later, leaving Diop, aged fifteen, and his four siblings orphaned. The death of his parents kindled a desire to excel in his studies, and after completing his secondary education in Saint-Louis and Dakar, Diop was admitted to French West Africa’s School of Medicine and Pharmacy.

The curriculum at the School of Medicine and Pharmacy was abbreviated during the early years, with initial terms of three and fours years of study. Despite the initial brevity, graduates from these programs were extensively trained in local hospitals and clinics. Likewise, in his memoirs (Mémoires de luttes: Textes pour servir à l’histoire du Parti Africain de l’Indépendance, 2007 Diop describes his training ...

Article

Terza Silva Lima-Neves

Cape Verdean pharmacist and politician, was born on the island of São Vicente, Cape Verde, on 22 February 1944. Her mother, Maria da Luz Tavares Gomes, sold goods at the local municipal market. Her father, João Lopes Gomes, whom she never had the opportunity to know, migrated to Venezuela in 1947, never to return to Cape Verde. Isaura Gomes was one of six children.

She attended Liceu Gil Eanes, the country’s first secondary school, graduating with distinction as the best student of her class in 1963 However she did not receive a scholarship to continue her university studies in Portugal The scholarship instead was awarded to a student with lower grades the son of a Portuguese citizen resident in São Vicente This event affected Gomes tremendously as she was a committed young student Lacking educational alternatives on the islands during the Portuguese colonial period Gomes tutored high ...

Article

Michele Valerie Ronnick

pharmacist, physician, man of letters, and licensed preacher in the British Methodist Episcopal Church and African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to Stephen and Eleanor Jones Hartley. His mother, who was born in Bridgetown, Barbados, on 7 June 1830, was of Creole origin. She was confirmed at St. Michael's Cathedral, an Anglican church, on 6 January 1849, and moved a few months later on 27 June 1849 to Port of Spain. Her husband, whom she married at the Church of the Holy Trinity on 27 December 1860, was a merchant's clerk. A physician from Paris, France, named Louis Saturnin witnessed the couple's wedding and also the baptism on 5 February 1862 of their only son, Henry, who was Saturnin's namesake.

Not quite four years later, on 26 January 1866 Hartley s father died To make ends ...

Article

E. Beardsley

physician and professional leader, was born in Columbia, South Carolina, the orphaned son of unknown parents. As with many African Americans of the post–Civil War era, it was Reconstruction that gave McClennan a chance at a larger life. In 1872, at the height of Reconstruction in South Carolina (and thanks to the influence of a guardian uncle), he became a page in the black-dominated state senate. There he won the notice and friendship of the influential legislator Richard H. “Daddy” Cain. That fall Cain ran successfully for Congress, and in 1873, after McClennan passed a competitive examination, Cain appointed his young protégé to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.

Only the second African American student to enter Annapolis McClennan who was light skinned enough to pass for white but never denied his race found that the navy had made no accommodation to the new racial ...

Article

Nate Plageman

Ghanaian musician and pharmacist, also known as the “King of Highlife,” was born Emmanuel Tetteh Mensah in Ussher Town, Accra, Ghana, on 31 May 1919. His father Robert Noi Mensah was a goldsmith and his mother Florence Adukwei Akwei traded cloth. Mensah’s first musical experiences came during his time at the Government Elementary School in James Town, where he played in a drum and fife band formed by one of the school’s teachers, Joe Lamptey. During his time with the Government School Band, Mensah learned how to play the flute, performed marching songs, and became acquainted with “highlife,” an emerging style of dance music that blended orchestral instruments, European chord sequences, and local rhythmic patterns. In 1933 Mensah joined Lamptey s senior band the Accra Orchestra also as a flutist Unlike his prior band the Accra Orchestra was a large dance ensemble comprised of brass string wind and ...

Article

Cyril Daddieh

Ivory Coast pharmacist, politician, and cabinet minister, was born on 14 April 1915 in Abidjan. An early stalwart of the Parti Démocratique de la Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI; Democratic Party of the Ivory Coast), Mockey studied pharmacy in Dakar and then held several hospital appointments there.

A cofounder of the PDCI in 1946, he was an early member of the Groupe d’Études Communistes (1947), a study group of communist party members who reported on conditions in the French colonies. He became administrative secretary of the party and was elected to the Territorial Assembly in 1947. As a result of his political activities, he was imprisoned for two years by the French colonial government in 1949. He became Ivory Coast’s first interior minister under the Loi-Cadre (Framing Law) in 1957 He later served as the first Ivorian ambassador to Israel and he also held the position ...

Article

Elizabeth D. Schafer

physician, was born in Winchester, Texas, the son of Pierce Moten, a farmer and businessman, and Amanda (maiden name unknown). His mother, who died when he was young, had planned for her sons to attend college. Moten studied in segregated public schools and pursued many interests, hoping to escape the sharecropper's life.

The New York Age editor T. Thomas Fortune convinced Moten's father to send Moten to Tuskegee Institute, and Moten enrolled there in September 1896. Expressing an interest in medicine, he was employed in the doctor's office and drug room. After two years Moten was recommended for a position in a Tuskegee drugstore owned by a white physician. He learned to fill prescriptions and earned a prescription clerk certificate.

Moten continued to work in Tuskegee's drug room “with my heart and hopes set on the day I would become a doctor.” In 1900 he graduated ...

Article

Jennifer Jensen Wallach

novelist, short-story writer, and children's book author. Ann Lane grew up in the white, middle-class town of Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The daughter of a pharmacist, she initially followed in her father's footsteps, earning a degree in pharmacy from the Connecticut College of Pharmacy in 1931 and then working in the family drugstore for seven years. In 1938 she married the writer George Petry and moved to Harlem to pursue a writing career.

In Harlem she worked as a reporter for the Amsterdam News and the People's Voice. She also began volunteering at an after-school program for latchkey children. This exposure to poverty and the difficulties faced by urban black women had a profound influence on her writing.

In the 1940s Petry published several short stories in periodicals including Phylon and The Crisis. A grant from Houghton Mifflin allowed her to write her first novel, The Street ...

Article

Cynthia A. Callahan

author and pharmacist, was born Ann Lane in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The youngest daughter of Peter C. Lane, a pharmacist and proprietor of two drugstores, and Bertha James, a licensed podiatrist, Ann Lane grew up in a financially secure and intellectually stimulating family environment. After graduating from Old Saybrook High School, she studied at the Connecticut College of Pharmacy (now the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy) and earned her graduate in pharmacy degree in 1931 For the next seven years Lane worked as a pharmacist in the family business Her family s long history of personal and professional success served as the foundation for her own professional accomplishments She cherished the family s stories of triumph over racism and credited them with having a message that would help a young black child survive help convince a young black child that black is truly beautiful Petry ...

Article

Melissa Nicole Stuckey

pharmacist, bank owner, and mayor of an African American community, was born David Johnson Turner, the fifth of twelve children, to Moses and Lucy (Lulu) Turner in Cass County, Texas. During his teen years, the Turners joined the steady stream of African Americans who left Texas and other Southern states for the Oklahoma and Indian Territories. Many black migrants were attracted to Indian Territory, which was divided up among the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians, known as the Five Civilized Tribes. Moses and Lulu Turner rented a farm in the Seminole Nation, Indian Territory, where David Turner and his younger siblings came of age.

In 1895, Turner wed Minnie also a child of Texas migrants and the young couple began raising their own family on a rented farm near Turner s parents Within a few years however Turner moved his family to ...

Article

Laura M. Calkins

political activist, politician, and the first African American to matriculate at the University of Michigan, was born in Saint James Parish, near Charleston, South Carolina, to an elite family of free blacks. Reportedly orphaned as a youngster, Samuel was sent to Washington, D.C., as the ward of the white Presbyterian minister William McLane. The District of Columbia was home to a handful of private schools for blacks during the 1840s, though which Watson may have attended or for how long is unknown His academic accomplishments and private support were such however that at the age of seventeen he enrolled at the prestigious Phillips Academy at Andover Massachusetts Watson studied in the English department which emphasized teacher training rather than in the academy s classics program which prepared young men for study at elite colleges in New England Reportedly disillusioned over southern slavery and unhappy at ...