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George White

psychiatrist, educational reformer, and author. Born to working-class parents during the Great Depression, James Pierpont Comer became a world-renowned child psychiatrist. He spent his childhood in East Chicago, Indiana, but then traveled to the East Coast and did work at some of America's most prestigious academic institutions. By the early twenty-first century he stood as an intellectual pioneer and an advocate for disadvantaged children.

Comer's parents lacked extensive formal education, and both worked outside the home—his father as a laborer at a steel mill and his mother as a domestic. Yet they created an environment that cultivated self-esteem, confidence, and high academic achievement for James and his siblings. After completing high school in 1952, Comer attended and graduated from Indiana University, but his negative experiences in Bloomington encouraged him to attend medical school elsewhere. He earned his MD in 1960 from Howard University and a ...

Article

Elvita Dominique

physician, professor, mental health activist, and Harlem community leader, was born Elizabeth Bishop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the eldest of the three children of Shelton Hale Bishop and Eloise Carey. Her mother's father, Archibald James Carey Sr., was an influential African Methodist Episcopal (AME) clergyman in Chicago. Her father's father, Hutchens C. Bishop, was the first black graduate of General Theological Seminary in New York City, the oldest seminary of the Episcopal Church. He was also the fourth rector of the important and influential Saint Philip's Episcopal Church in Harlem. Bishop's parents continued their families' tradition of public service. Her father, who received a BA and a doctorate of divinity from Columbia University, succeeded his own father as the fifth rector of Saint Philip's. Her mother was a teacher.

Elizabeth Bishop s interest in psychiatry can be traced to the work of her father He was an ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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

Adebe DeRango-Adem

was born in Glen Cove, New York to Hettie Armstrong Pierce and Samuel R. Pierce, who worked in a country club on Long Island. Both parents were working class migrants from the South. The U.S. Census for 1930 records that three-year-old Chester was living with his father, mother, a newborn brother Burton, and an elder brother, Samuel R. Pierce, Jr., who would later serve as President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

After completing his education as an honor student at Glen Cove High School, Chester Pierce matriculated at Harvard College earning a Bachelor’s Degree in 1948 and his M D degree from the Harvard Medical School four years later In addition to his strengths as an academic Pierce also proved to be an outstanding athlete starring on the Harvard College football basketball and lacrosse teams Many sources credit Pierce as the first ...

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

Candace Cardwell

psychiatrist. Alvin F. Poussaint was born in Harlem, New York, and attended Stuyvesant High School. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Columbia College in 1956 and an MD from Cornell University Medical School in 1960. Poussaint then studied at the University of California at Los Angeles's Neuropsychiatric Institute in 1964–1965.

From 1965 to 1967, Poussaint worked for the Medical Committee for Human Rights in Jackson, Mississippi, where he provided medical care to civil rights workers. Poussaint taught at Tufts Medical School from 1965 to 1969 and then at Harvard Medical School. In 1971 he joined Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) and served as one of Jackson's advisers in the 1984 presidential campaign.

Poussaint was a consultant for The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992 and A Different World from 1986 to 1993 He read scripts to ensure that the television ...

Article

Aaron Myers

Alvin Poussaint was born in East Harlem, New York City, and attended Stuyvesant High School. He received his B.A. from Columbia College in 1956 and an M.D. from Cornell University Medical School in 1960. From 1964 to 1965, he received postgraduate training at the University of California's Neuropsychiatric Institute.

From 1965 to 1967, Poussaint was employed by the Medical Committee for Human Rights in Jackson, Mississippi, where he provided medical care to workers in the Civil Rights Movement and helped desegregate Southern health facilities. He taught at Tufts Medical School from 1965 to 1969 and then at Harvard Medical School. In 1971 he joined the Reverend Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) and served as one of Jackson's advisers in the 1984 presidential campaign. Poussaint was a consultant for The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992 and A Different World from 1986 ...