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Mary Krane Derr

neuropsychiatrist specializing in the biological basis of mental disorders, was born in Bridgetown, Barbados, to Prince Barker and Brunetta (Watson) Barker. As a young teen he immigrated to New York City on the ship Guiana, arriving on 11 September 1911. His mother, who immigrated to New York in 1912, was at the time of the 1920 U.S. Census a fifty‐year‐old widow and private duty laundry worker.

Prince Patanilla Barker graduated from the Bronx's DeWitt Clinton High School in 1915 and earned his B.A. from the City College of New York in 1918. After one year at Cornell University Medical College, Barker transferred to Howard University in Washington, D.C., earning his M.D. in 1923. That year he wed Helen L. Furlonge (3 May 1892–19 February 1978 an immigrant from Montserrat Barker interned at Freedmen s Hospital Washington D C and conducted further postgraduate work ...

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Carolyn Vellenga Berman

was born on 20 July 1925 in Fort-de-France, capital of Martinique, then a French colony in the Antilles. He was the fifth of eight children in a middle-class family. His father, Félix Casimir Fanon, who worked in French customs, was the descendant of an affranchi, an individual emancipated before the definitive abolition of French colonial slavery in 1848. His mother, Eléanore Médélice, a shop owner, was proud of her mixed ancestry, including Austrians who had immigrated to Alsace, France. Although Fanon’s parents spoke Martinican Creole, his education was only in French. He read widely at the local library and attended the Lycée Schoelcher, an elite school in Fort-de-France. One of his French teachers was Aimé Césaire, the author of Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, 1939 a seminal poem for the proponents of Negritude and a searching exploration of ...

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Jon M. Harkness

Solomon Carter Fuller was born in Monrovia, Liberia, the son of Solomon Carter Fuller, a coffee planter and Liberian government official, and Anna Ursala James. His father, son of a repatriated former American slave, was able to provide a private education for his children at a school he established on his prosperous plantation. In the summer of 1889 young Solomon Fuller left home to return to the country where his grandfather had once been held in bondage. He sought higher education at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, a college for black students founded ten years earlier.

Fuller graduated from Livingstone in 1893 with an A.B. and proceeded to pursue a medical degree at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. After one year he transferred to Boston University School of Medicine, where he received an M.D. in 1897 Although he was deeply disturbed ...

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Jon M. Harkness

neuropathologist and psychiatrist, was born in Monrovia, Liberia, the son of Solomon Carter Fuller, a coffee planter and Liberian government official, and Anna Ursala James. His father, the son of a repatriated former American slave, was able to provide a private education for his children at a school he established on his prosperous plantation. In the summer of 1889 young Solomon Fuller left home to return to the country where his grandfather had once been held in bondage. He sought higher education at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, a college for black students founded ten years earlier.

Fuller graduated from Livingstone in 1893 with an AB and proceeded to pursue a medical degree at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. After one year he transferred to Boston University School of Medicine, where he received an MD in 1897 Although he was deeply disturbed ...

Article

Scott Yanow

jazz trumpeter, figure skater, and psychiatrist, was born in New York City. His father, Billy Williams, was the lead singer in Billy Williams and the Charioteers, while his mother was a dancer who was one of the Brown Twins at the Cotton Club. She danced with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and the Nicholas Brothers and can be seen in the Fats Waller short film of “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” sitting on the piano while he sang to her. After Billy Williams's death, Henderson's mother married a doctor in San Francisco. His stepfather had many musician patients, including Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Duke Ellington.

Henderson began on the trumpet when he was nine. His first teacher was Louis Armstrong who gave him a few informal lessons Henderson moved to San Francisco with his family when he was 14 He studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of ...

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Justin David Gifford

forensic psychiatrist, novelist, and filmmaker, was born in Washington, D.C., to Devonia Jefferson, a teacher and playwright, and Bernard Jefferson, a judge. At an early age, Jefferson moved with his family to Los Angeles where he attended integrated public schools. Raised in a family that discouraged him from pursing a career as a writer, Jefferson studied anthropology in college, earning his BA from the University of Southern California in 1961. In 1965 Jefferson earned his MD from Howard University and became a practicing physician in Los Angeles. In 1966, he married a teacher named Melanie L. Moore, with whom he would eventually have four children, Roland Jr., Rodney, Shannon, and Royce. Between 1969 and 1971 he served as a captain and psychiatrist at Lockborne Air Force Base in Columbus Ohio It was during this time that he ...

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Isaac Kramnick

pediatric psychiatrist, was born Margaret Morgan in New York City, the daughter of the Reverend Sandy Alonzo Morgan, an Episcopal priest, and Mary E. Smith, a schoolteacher. Mistrusting segregated southern hospitals, the Morgans temporarily moved from Virginia to Harlem in 1914, living with Morgan's aunt so that their child could be born in New York. Morgan's childhood, however, was spent primarily in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where her father's next congregation was located. She grew up a precocious child, reading at three, and lived in a middle-class black neighborhood with her educated parents.

Every summer Morgan visited her aunts in Harlem and at the age of fourteen she decided she wanted to live with them so that she could go to a better high school She had decided to be a doctor she told people because her older brother had died in infancy before she was born and ...

Article

Wilnise Jasmin

psychiatrist, administrator, and physician, was born Mildred Mitchell in Brunswick, Georgia, the daughter of a minister and registered nurse. At the age of 12, she volunteered for the Red Cross to care for those injured in a tornado that swept through her hometown of Cordele, Georgia. This experience as well as her love for science and her need to help people, greatly influenced her decision to pursue medicine. She attended Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina, from 1937 to 1939 and graduated from Johnson C. Smith University, in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1941. She received her medical degree from Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1946 completed her internship and then became a general practitioner She was recruited as a staff physician while completing her internship at Lakin State Hospital a facility in West Virginia for mentally ill African Americans Her experience at Lakin brought ...

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Juliano Moreira spoke out for blacks and mestiços (Brazilian term for people of mixed race) by challenging racial prejudices in Brazilian society, such as the then-prevalent belief in the negative impact of racial mixing. In his article “Assistance to the Alienated,” published in 1905, he affirmed that “the bad elements that constitute our nationality are due our ample physical, moral and social degradation, and have been unfairly attributed solely to fact of mestiçagem [racial mixing].” Moreira believed that descendents of the mixture of natives, Africans, and Europeans were in every social class in Brazil, a Brazilian social phenomenon that he considered important.

Moreira was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. He was admitted to the Medical School of Bahia in 1891 where he dedicated his studies to psychiatry His academic career began when he was accepted as an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Medical School of ...

Article

Willie Hobbs

psychiatrist, author, and educator, was born in the East Harlem section of New York City, the seventh of eight children of Christopher Poussaint, a typographer and printer, and Harriet Johnston Poussaint, a homemaker. At the age of nine, Poussaint was stricken with rheumatic fever. A lengthy convalescence forced him to take up reading and avoid most of the physical activities that other children his age would normally participate in. But it was his love of reading that flourished during this time and fueled his academic prowess. His thirst for knowledge carried into extracurricular activities, where he taught himself how to play the clarinet, the saxophone, and flute.

Poussaint graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1952. He immediately went on to attend Columbia University as a premedical student with a concentration in French, and he graduated in 1956 In medical school Poussaint chose to ...

Article

Elizabeth D. Schafer

physician and psychiatrist, was born in Waxahachie, Texas, the son of John Wesley Tildon, a physician, and Margaret Hilburn. Tildon received a bachelor's degree from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1912. He then studied pre-law at Harvard University for one year before entering medical school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. He transferred to Harvard Medical School, earning an MD in 1923 and specializing in psychiatry and neurology.

At that time the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Hospital aided by the National Medical Association was recruiting qualified physicians to evaluate patients Health care for African Americans was limited and doctors at Tuskegee attempted to improve health care in the Deep South Few black physicians practiced in Alabama and blacks suffered injuries from work and diseases prevalent in the region The establishment of a veterans hospital at Tuskegee created the need for professional physicians and nurses who could ...