physician, otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, and throat specialist), inventor, and administrator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of George W. Barnes, a laborer, and Eliza Webb Barnes and his two sisters lived poverty stricken lives on Lombard Street in a very poor area of the city Barnes decided at an early age to become a physician a decision unheard of and regarded in his neighborhood as preposterous His parents tried to discourage him from pursuing what to them seemed an impossible dream for a poor black youth hoping rather that he would focus on finding realistic employment Nevertheless determined Barnes walked ten miles every day to and from school and from his after school work as a porter and messenger for jewelry shops During summers he worked as a porter in hotels Seeing those who lived a far different and more elegant life than his own inspired ...
Félix Ojeda Reyes
was born in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, on 8 April 1827 to Felipe Betances Ponce, of Dominican origin, and María del Carmen Alacán, of Puerto Rican origin, the well-off owners of a sugar plantation called Hacienda Carmen. On 21 April he was baptized and registered by church officials in the Book of Mulattoes. Shortly after his mother’s death on 10 February 1837, Betances’s father sent him to Grisolles, near Toulouse, in the southwest of France. Under the care of the Prévost-Cavallieri family, Betances, always an excellent student, studied at the Collége Royal in Toulouse. In 1848 the year of the revolutions that toppled absolutist supremacy in Europe he entered the College of Medicine at the University of Paris At that historic moment Betances commenced a lifetime of political engagement and activity by participating in the antimonarchist revolution of 24 February which established the Second French Republic Although his ...
Robert C. Hayden
physician, was born in New York City, the son of George DeGrasse, a prosperous landowner, and Maria Van Surly. After obtaining his early education in both public and private schools in New York City, he entered Oneida Institute in Whitesboro (near Utica), New York in 1840. Oneida was one of the first colleges to admit African Americans, nurturing a strong antislavery stance. In addition to welcoming black students to its campus, the institute invited abolitionists as lecturers and provided both a manual arts and an academic program.
In 1843 DeGrasse attended Aubuk College in Paris, France. Returning to New York City in 1845, he started medical training through an apprenticeship with Dr. Samuel R. Childs. After two years of clinical work and study under Childs, DeGrasse was admitted into the medical studies program at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1847 Finishing his ...
Elizabeth D. Schafer
physician, was born in Camden, South Carolina, the son of Eugene Heriot Dibble and Sally Lee. He graduated from Atlanta University in 1915 and earned his medical degree at Howard University Medical College four years later. After a one-year internship at the Freedmen's Hospital in Washington, D.C., Dibble accepted a surgical residency at the John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama.
At that time, medical care for southern blacks was limited and often inferior. Dibble realized the urgent need for more black physicians to provide adequate health care. As assistant medical director of the John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital, he helped organize the first postgraduate course in surgery for southern black physicians.
By 1923 Dibble had become the chief of the surgical section of the newly established Veterans Administration hospital in Tuskegee The large number of black World War I veterans created an acute medical demand and ...
Laura M. Calkins
surgeon and civic leader, was born in Washington, D.C. As a youth he attended the segregated black schools in the District of Columbia, and in 1868–1872 he attended Howard University's Normal Preparatory and Commercial Departments, whose curricula emphasized vocational training. At age sixteen Francis was sent to the elite Wesleyan Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, where his studies included mathematics, philosophy, and the natural sciences. Returning to Washington, D.C., in 1875, he became an apprentice to Dr. C. C. Cox, a white physician who was head of the District of Columbia's board of health. Under Cox's supervision Francis enrolled in Howard University's medical college, studying there between 1875 and 1877. Francis left in the autumn of 1877 and enrolled at the University of Michigan as an advanced student, and in the spring of 1878 he received a degree in medicine.
Francis returned to Washington D C where ...
Tom J. Ward
physician and businessman, was born in New Roads, Louisiana, the second of the seven children of George Frederick and Armantine (maiden name unknown) of Point Coupeé Parish, Louisiana. Frederick received his early education at the plantation school run by the wife of Louis F. Drouillard, the landlord for whom his parents were sharecroppers. In 1890 Frederick left Point Coupeé for New Orleans, where he enrolled at Straight University. He graduated in 1894, then enrolled at the New Orleans Medical College. Because he would not have been able to study in any of the city's hospitals because of his race, Frederick did not complete his medical education in New Orleans; instead, he left for Chicago in 1896 and enrolled at the College of Physicians and Surgeons In Chicago he had the benefit of clinical training at Cook County Hospital Frederick received his MD from the College of ...
E. Renée Ingram
physician and surgeon who specialized in pulmonary medicine, was born in Lexington, Davidson County, North Carolina. He was the son of Henry M. and Laura Hargrave, farmers, and one of fourteen children; he attended local public schools in Lexington before attending the state normal school in Salisbury, North Carolina. Hargrave received a BS from Shaw University in 1901 and an MD from Leonard Medical School. Founded in 1885, Leonard Medical School was one of the first medical schools in the United States to have a four-year curriculum. It also was the first four-year medical school to train African American doctors and pharmacists in the South. Hargrave practiced medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, from 1901 to 1903 before relocating his private medical practice to Wilson, North Carolina, where he practiced from 1903 to 1924 and established the Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home. Hargrave married Bessie E Parker ...
Jessica M. Parr
Samuel Gridley Howe was born to a prominent Boston family. His father, Joseph Neals Howe, owned a rope-manufacturing company in this thriving port city. His mother, Patty Gridley, was renowned for her beauty. Howe entered the Boston Latin School at the age of eleven, graduating in 1818. At the age of seventeen he entered Brown University, the only one of the three Howe sons to attend college, owing to a decline in the family's financial situation.
Following Howe's graduation from Brown in 1821, he matriculated at the Harvard Medical School. After he completed his medical studies in 1824, his restless nature and democratic sensibilities led him to join the Greek army as a surgeon and soldier during the Greek war of independence. Howe returned to Boston in 1831, where he met a friend from his undergraduate days named John Dix Fisher. In 1829 Fisher ...
Elvatrice Parker Belsches
physician, surgeon, and hospital founder, was born Sallie Garland Boyd in Albemarle County, Virginia, the oldest of nine children born to George W. Boyd, a carpenter and general contractor, and Ellen D. Garland, a nurse. By 1868 the family had moved from Albemarle County to the Richmond area, where her father became the city's leading black contractor. He oversaw construction of such notable buildings as the Baker School, the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church—pastored by the nationally known John Jasper—and other black-owned buildings. Sallie attended Richmond public schools and in 1883 graduated from Richmond Colored Normal and High School, an institution organized in October 1867 by the Freedmen s Bureau to prepare students to become educators Courses in rhetoric philosophy geography English classics and the natural sciences provided a solid foundation that earned the school a reputation as one of the state s ...
Donna M. Abruzzese
physician, surgeon, and civil rights activist, was born on the campus of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, one of five children born to Warren and Adele Logan. Warren Logan, treasurer of Tuskegee Institute, had begun working as an educator at the Institute when it was established in 1882. Logan remembered an early childhood in bucolic surroundings where he sometimes spent summer days at the side of Booker T. Washington, the founder of Tuskegee Institute.
At the age of ten Logan was sent to New York City to live in Harlem with an older sister and attend the Ethical Culture School on a scholarship. In the 1920s New York City offered blacks a broader spectrum of opportunities than was possible in Alabama. The Ethical Culture School, founded by Felix Adler in 1878 was open to children of all races and religions Adler was ...
Elizabeth D. Schafer
aerospace surgeon, was born at Fort Washikie, Wyoming, the son of Vance Hunter Marchbanks Sr., an army cavalry captain, and Mattie (maiden name unknown). Marchbanks Jr. was influenced by the military career of his father, who was a veteran of both the Spanish-American War and World War I. A childhood operation inspired Marchbanks's passion for medicine, after which he operated on cherries in his backyard, opening them up, removing the stones, and sewing shut the incision.
Marchbanks encountered discrimination when he enrolled at the University of Arizona in 1927. Not allowed to live in the dormitories or participate in normal student activities, he lived in an off-campus boardinghouse. He ate at the railroad station restaurant, where he was expected to enter through the back door and was harassed; he often found cockroaches in his soup. Marchbanks graduated in 1931 and was accepted at the Howard University ...
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 ...
physician and educator, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Absalom Shadd, a prosperous restaurateur, and Eliza Brockett. About 1855 Absalom Shadd sold his business and, following his brother Abraham Doras Shadd's example, relocated his family to Chatham, Ontario, where he took up farming. Following Absalom's untimely death, the family returned to the United States.
In August 1867 Shadd began a thirty-eight-year affiliation as student, educator, and administrator with Howard University and its associated institutions. He first enrolled in the preparatory course at the model school administered by the university. Graduating from the model school, he became one of Howard's first university students. He earned his BS in 1875, followed by his MS in 1878 and his MD in 1881. He was selected valedictorian of both his undergraduate and his medical convocations.
While pursuing his own education, Shadd served from 1874 through 1878 ...
physician, was born in Americus, Georgia, the son of Dennis Smith, a laborer, and Mollie Daniels. Smith came from a poor family, and he worked hard during his youth at a variety of menial jobs—including as a service industry employee, a domestic, an office worker, and a railroad employee—to help support himself and his parents. He received his elementary and secondary education at the Americus Institute, then in 1906 he began studies at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he earned a BS in 1910. During the summers he worked as a bookkeeper and a butcher in the city markets of Americus.
Smith attended Leonard Medical College of Shaw University from 1910 to 1914 and received an MD in 1914 from the University of West Tennessee College of Medicine and Surgery. He earned a graduate degree at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1916 ...
Elvatrice Parker Belsches
physician, author, hospital administrator, civic and organizational leader, and humanitarian, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the elder son of Jesse E. Turner, a chef, and Jennie Edwards Turner. The Turner family migrated during Turner's youth to New York City, where he continued his education in the city's public schools. Turner received his preliminary college education in the College of the City of New York and then enrolled in the Leonard Medical School of Shaw University at age seventeen (Cobb, p. 160). Shaw University, a historically black institution in Raleigh, North Carolina, was founded in 1865 by Reverend Henry Tupper under the auspices of the American Baptist Home Mission Society in an effort to educate the freedmen after the Civil War Reverend Tupper was acutely aware that in addition to educating the head heart and hands it was critical to train practitioners ...
was born in Davidson County, Tennessee. There is little known of Henry H. Walker’s family or early life, but his college years were spent at Walden University in Nashville. He then went on to earn his medical degree from Meharry Medical College, one of the nation’s leading historically black colleges in the Jim Crow era. He spent the majority of his adult life in Nashville, Davidson County’s most important city.
After graduation in 1913 Walker served as surgical assistant to John H. Hale at Hale Hospital until 1917 Dr Hale was a notable surgeon who worked studied and traveled to the prestigious Mayo and Crile clinics to advance his knowledge which he passed on to Walker Walker joined the Meharry faculty teaching anatomy as well as minor and orthopedic surgery During these prewar years he married Elizabeth a local music teacher The two of them were active in the ...