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Deborah Lois Taylor

neurosurgeon and professor of neurosurgery, was born Alexa Irene Canady in Lansing, Michigan, to Elizabeth Hortense Golden Canady and Clinton Canady Jr. Her father was a graduate of the School of Dentistry at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, and practiced in Lansing. Her mother graduated from Fisk University at the age of nineteen, was active in civic affairs, became the first African American elected to the Lansing Board of Education, and served as national president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Canady's grandmother began to teach school at the age of sixteen and taught elementary education at Lane College in Tennessee. Canady married George Davis, a retired naval medical corpsman and recruiter, in 1988.

The Canady family lived outside Lansing on land sold to them by a man who wanted to punish the city for not rezoning his property so that he could not build a gas ...