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William David Barry

nursing administrator, who as a teenager in 1952 caused racial integration of a Washington, DC, public accommodation, was born in Portland, Maine, the daughter of Emory C. Dodge Sr. and Irene Isabel Eastman. Her father, a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, served in the Canadian Army and the U.S. Navy before settling in Portland, Maine, where he was employed in local hotels and at the Maine Medical Center. Emory Sr. married Irene Eastman, a member of a long-established black Maine family, on 18 October 1928. They raised two children on Anderson Street in Portland's ethnically mixed Munjoy Hill neighborhood. As a young woman Beverly took a particular interest in family history, especially through a cousin Mary E. Barnett who had preserved letters and documents that would eventually lead Beverly back to the family s origins in Demerara Guyana and the Netherlands during the 1700s Further more ...

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Charles Rosenberg

teacher and educational psychologist, was born in Washington, New Jersey, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Brodhead. His father, born in New York, was an assistant chef on a railroad cafe car, and his mother, born in Pennsylvania, a laundress at a hotel. He had one older brother, Frank E., and an older sister, Annie. Their father died prior to 1910.

Brodhead graduated from West Chester State Normal School, Pennsylvania, in 1919, and began teaching in the West Chester public schools, boarding with W. J. Williams, his wife, Mary, and infant son, William Jr. During the early 1920s he moved to Philadelphia, beginning a lifelong career in the city's public school system. He married Fleta Marie Jones, a native of Philadelphia, around 1924. Their only child, a daughter named for her mother, was born 12 August 1928.

While teaching ...

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Donald Yacovone

physician, political activist, and civil rights advocate, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Mary J. Cromwell, one of the first black teachers in Baltimore, and John Heyward Camper, principal of an elementary school in Sparrows Point, Maryland. Camper had two brothers and several sisters. The Campers lived in Sparrows Point from about 1896 until 1900, when John's father's death forced a move to Towson and then to Baltimore. John attended eighth grade in Baltimore and graduated in 1913 from what would become the city's Douglass High School. He worked as a longshoreman and steelworker before receiving a bachelor of science degree in 1917 and a medical degree in 1920 from Howard University. A strong and gifted athlete, he was named several times to the All-American Colored Football Team, became the assistant coach for the Howard football team in 1920, and from 1921 to 1922 was ...

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Lawrie Balfour

Born in the Panama Canal Zone, Kenneth Bancroft Clark grew up with his mother in Harlem, New York. His childhood heroes included poet Countee Cullen, who taught at his junior high school, and book collector Arthur Schomburg, who served as curator at the 135th Street branch of the New York Public Library. After attending integrated elementary and junior high schools, Clark graduated from New York's George Washington High School in 1931.

Clark distinguished himself as an undergraduate at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he led demonstrations against segregation. While at Howard he met Mamie Phipps, who became his wife and closest intellectual collaborator. The Clarks then went to Columbia University in New York City to study psychology, and in 1940 Kenneth Clark became Columbia s first black recipient of a Ph D degree in psychology Clark joined the faculty of City College ...

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Steven J. Niven

psychologist, was born in the Panama Canal Zone, the son of the Jamaican immigrants Miriam Hanson Clark and Arthur Bancroft Clark. In 1919, Miriam left her husband and brought Kenneth and his sister Beulah to New York City. He attended public schools in Harlem, which were fully integrated when he entered the first grade, but were almost wholly black by the time he finished sixth grade. Kenneth's mother, an active follower of Marcus Garvey, encouraged her son's interest in black history and his academic leanings, and confronted his guidance teacher for recommending that Kenneth attend a vocational high school. A determined woman, active in the garment workers’ union, Miriam Clark persuaded the authorities to send Kenneth to George Washington High, a school with a reputation for academic excellence. In 1931 he won a scholarship to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Clark attended Howard at time of ...

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Ruth E. Martin

civil rights activist and nurse's aide, was born Claudette Austin in Birmingham, Alabama. The daughter of Mary Jane Gadson and C. P. Austin, she was raised by her great-aunt and great-uncle, Mary Ann Colvin and Q. P. Colvin, the former a maid and the latter a “yard boy,” or outdoor domestic.

When Colvin was eight, she and her guardians moved to Montgomery, Alabama, where she attended Booker T. Washington High School. In February 1955 her classes were devoted to “Negro History month,” with a focus on current racial injustice in Montgomery. On her way home from school on 2 March 1955 she sat in the rear of the bus far behind the ten seats that were automatically reserved for whites A 1900 Montgomery city ordinance stipulated that conductors were given the power to assign seats in order to ensure racial segregation but that no passengers would ...

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Mary Jessica Hammes

orthopedic surgeon and one of the two black students who desegregated the University of Georgia, was born Hamilton Earl Holmes in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Alfred “Tup” Holmes, a businessman, and Isabella Holmes, a grade school teacher. His influences in civil rights were strong; his father, grandfather Hamilton Mayo Holmes, and uncle Oliver Wendell Holmes filed suit to desegregate Atlanta's public golf courses in 1955. The resulting 1956 Supreme Court decision on their cases made the golf courses the first integrated public facilities in Atlanta. His mother had been part of a program that integrated blind or partially sighted children into mainstream classrooms.

Hamilton nicknamed Hamp was a successful student at Henry McNeal Turner High School in Atlanta Though shy occasionally stuttering when he spoke he was president of his junior and senior class co captain of the football team captain of the basketball ...

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David T. Beito

physician, civil rights leader, and entrepreneur, was born Theodore Roosevelt Howard in the town of Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky, to Arthur Howard, a tobacco twister, and Mary Chandler, a cook for Will Mason, a prominent local white doctor and member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA). Mason took note of the boy's work habits, talent, ambition, and charm. He put him to work in his hospital and eventually paid for much of his medical education. Howard later showed his gratitude by adding “Mason” as a second middle name.

Theodore Howard attended three SDA colleges: the all-black Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama; the predominantly white Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska; and the College of Medical Evangelists in Loma Linda, California. While at Union College he won the American Anti-Saloon League's national contest for best orator in 1930.

During his years in medical school in ...

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Elvatrice Parker Belsches

physician, hospital founder, educator, organizational leader, and civil rights activist, was born in Greensboro, Alabama, the only son of Alice Royal, a mixed-race woman, and an unidentified white father. Jones attended private school and later graduated from the Tullibody Academy for blacks at Greensboro in 1876. This well-respected school was founded and run by William Burns Paterson, who was later appointed principal of the Lincoln Normal School, the forerunner of Alabama State University.

Because Jones's youth precluded his acceptance into several medical schools, he taught for a couple of years before entering the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor's medical school in 1878 (The Richmond Planet, 5 Jan. 1895). Founded in 1850, the medical school had graduated its first black student, Dr. William Henry Fitzbutler, in 1872 Fitzbutler would gain renown by cofounding the Louisville National ...

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Glen Pierce Jenkins

obstetrician and community leader, was born near Moncks Corner, South Carolina, the son of the former slaves John Lambright and Mary Gelzer, farmers. Middleton was one of thirteen children, and although he was born free, more than half his siblings were born into slavery. As a young man he often accompanied his father to Charleston for supplies. Their route took them by the Medical College of South Carolina, and Lambright questioned his father about the young men in white coats walking on the campus. This experience established in him the notion of studying medicine. When a life-threatening accident brought him into personal contact with a physician for a period of several months, he became convinced of his life's ambition. With the support of his family, Lambright eventually graduated from Claflin College in Orangeburg, South Carolina, with an AB degree. In 1898 he received his MD from the ...

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Eugene H. Conner

physician and civil rights activist, was born near Shelby, Cleveland County, North Carolina, the son of John Carpenter Lattimore and Marcella Hambrick, former slaves and farmers. Lattimore graduated from Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, with an AB in 1897. He then attended Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, receiving his MD in 1901. With a fellow classmate, H. B. Beck, as a partner, he began the general practice of medicine in Louisville, Kentucky. After considerable effort, his practice grew. In 1928 he married Naomi Anthony of Louisville; they had no children.

To provide better care for his patients Lattimore established the Lattimore Clinic in Louisville This effort marked the beginning of a professional lifetime devoted to improving medical care for the black community and presaged similar efforts for improving public health measures hospital care and educational opportunities for blacks Lattimore served in the Louisville ...

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Morgan Taggart-Hampton and Susan Bell

physician, surgeon, and medical researcher, was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, the youngest daughter of Adella Hunt Logan and Warren Logan, well-respected members of black Alabama society and teachers at the Tuskegee Institute. Her father was one of the first people appointed to the Tuskegee Institute by Booker T. Washington in 1882; Warren Logan was also its treasurer and member of the Board of Trustees. After her retirement from Tuskegee in 1888, her mother, Adella Logan, became an avid suffragist and women's rights activist.

Myra Logan grew up on the Tuskegee campus, attended Tuskegee High School, and graduated with honors in 1923. She was the valedictorian of her class at Atlanta University, where she graduated in 1927. She earned a Master's in Psychology from Columbia University before attending New York Medical College. Encouraged by her brother-in-law, Dr. Eugene Percy Roberts a well ...

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E. Beardsley

physician, was born in Houma, Louisiana, the son of John L. Murray, a longshoreman, and Louvinia Smith, a laundress and practical nurse. Murray received his BA from Dillard University in 1910. His medical degree, awarded by Howard University in 1914, was one early sign of his drive and talent, bolstered by solid preparation. Like many Howard students, he financed his medical education by working a full-time government job, in his case a clerical post in the census bureau. But his responsibilities went beyond his own wants. His ailing mother in Louisiana also needed help, so he took a second job, a night watchman position; its sole advantage was that it gave him some time for study. After receiving his degree he remained in Washington, first as an intern at Freedmen's Hospital and then as a Howard instructor in surgery. In 1917 he married Charlotte Wallace ...

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Connie L. McNeely

physician and civil rights activist, was born in Marshall, Texas, the son of Charles Nixon, chief steward of a private railroad car owned by the general manager of what was then the Texas and Pacific Railroad. When the private car was moved in 1886, the Nixon family followed it to New Orleans, where Charles Nixon was able to send his four children to private school, providing them with a better education than was available in the substandard public schools reserved for black children. When the family returned to Marshall in 1892, Lawrence's schooling continued through Wiley College, the oldest historically black college west of the Mississippi River, where he completed his undergraduate education.

Nixon worked at various jobs while obtaining his education, but began to fulfill his true professional dreams in 1902 when he entered Meharry Medical College in Nashville Tennessee Earning his medical degree ...

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Donna Tyler Hollie

educator, was born in Washington, D.C., the youngest of six children of William Ross Patterson and Mamie Brooks Patterson, educators. Like countless other African Americans, the couple had migrated North in search of an improved educational, cultural, social, and racial climate for their children. Patterson's birthplace was within three blocks of the home of Frederick Douglass, for whom he was named. Patterson was only two when his parents died of tuberculosis. In a detailed will, each child was assigned to a relative or family friend. Although the will stipulated that Patterson was to be raised by “Aunt” Julia Dorsey, he was moved several times and ultimately his oldest sister, Wilhemina assumed responsibility for him From her meager earnings as a schoolteacher she financed his tuition and room and board at the elementary school operated by what is now Huston Tillotson College in Austin Texas In ...

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Andrea Patterson

proctologist and author, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the grandson of a former slave from North Carolina, and the son of Thomas Henry Peyton, one of the first black policemen in New York City, and Louisa Jones, of African American and Mohawk Indian ancestry. Peyton attended a manual training high school in Brooklyn and continued his studies at the Long Island College of Medicine from where he graduated as the only black student of his class in 1921. In 1923 he married Gladys (maiden name unknown) and the couple had three children, Roy (b. 1925), Carter (b. 1928), and Joyce (b. 1935 Peyton lived during a time when black doctors experienced severe professional discrimination in training and practice Yet like Peyton their commitment to medicine and civil rights bound them together in a ceaseless effort to advance scientific knowledge provide better educational ...

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Michael Niblett

Lord Pitt of Hampstead, general practitioner and politician born in St David's, Grenada, the son of Cyril S. L. Pitt. A prominent figure in Caribbean politics in the 1940s, Pitt later became involved with the Labour Party in Britain. He provided active support to a number of charity organizations and social campaigns throughout his career, playing a significant role in the Anti‐Apartheid Movement (AAM). His medical career was equally distinguished, and in 1985 he was elected president of the British Medical Association. Always keen to ensure that the political establishment remained relevant and accessible to the public, Pitt became well known as a spokesperson for those who felt marginalized by the system and for encouraging their participation in electoral politics and other institutional bodies. The Lord Pitt Foundation was established in 1983 to mark his seventieth birthday After his death the Race Equality Unity launched the annual Lord ...

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elected county official and Macon, Georgia, civil rights leader, was born in Valdosta, Georgia, the fourth of six children of Harry and Carrie Randall. He was reared in Macon, where his father, formerly the Valdosta manager for the Afro-American Life Insurance Company, had returned to work for his own mother's grocery wholesale and retail business. William P. Randall graduated from Hudson High School and Beda Etta Business College in Macon before going to work as a carpenter. He worked for a large construction company but after World War II went into business with his brother, a bricklayer. Eventually he became one of the major black contractors in the Southeast, working on large-scale commercial and residential projects.

In an era when Jim Crow custom forced African Americans to step aside when a white approached on the sidewalk Randall s father taught him not to give way As ...

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Clare J. Washington

health care professional and union official, was one of five children. Her family lived in a very large tenement building, in what was an often seedy, rough neighborhood on the south Side of Chicago. She attended Chicago public schools, and then she managed to get a scholarship to the University of Illinois. After only six months, she had to return home and find a job. Her brother had been drafted into the U.S. Army, and there was no longer a source of income for the family.

During World War II, nurse's aide positions shifted from being the domain of upper-class women volunteers to poor (often black) women. As shortages and turnover became more prevalent in the hospitals, the conditions of work for these women worsened. In 1946 Roberts became the first African American nurse s aide hired at the University of Chicago Lying In Hospital She felt isolated ...

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Luther Brown

a doctor and civil rights activist, was born in Gluckstadt, Mississippi, to Charlie Shirley, a brickmaker and housewright, and Eddie McDill, a nurse's aide. Shirley's father died when Aaron was only eighteen months old, leaving his mother to rear him, two older brothers, and five sisters. One brother died of congenital heart failure at age nine, another brother died during his teen years, and one sister died of sickle-cell anemia before finishing college. Eddie Shirley was a determined woman with sufficient business savvy to make a decent living for her family by selling several of the houses that her husband had built before he died. To make ends meet, she rented parts of another house, the largest her husband had built, to black teachers who came to Jackson to earn their teaching certification something they could obtain no where else in Mississippi She ran a disciplined ...