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Dalyce Newby

physician, Civil War surgeon, and medical educator, was born free in Norfolk, Virginia, to parents whose names and occupations are unknown. Augusta received his early education from a Bishop Payne, defying a law that forbade African Americans to read or write. He continued to improve his reading skills while working as an apprentice to a barber. His interest in medicine led him to relocate to Baltimore, where he studied with private tutors. Eventually, Augusta moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to serve an apprenticeship. Although he was denied entry to the University of Pennsylvania, Augusta caught the attention of Professor William Gibson, who allowed the young man to study in his office.

In January 1847 Augusta married Mary O. Burgoin in Baltimore They lived in California for three years before returning to the East Coast so that Augusta could pursue a medical degree Denied access despite his prior training in medicine ...

Article

Kecia Brown

physician and medical researcher specializing in sickle-cell anemia, was born in Washington, D.C., to Francis L. Cardozo, a district school supervisor, and his wife Judy, last name unknown. Cardozo married sometime in the 1930s. He and his wife, Julia, a social worker, had one daughter named Judy. Cardozo's father and grandfather, both named Francis Lewis, were prominent educators in Washington, D.C. According to family lore, the Cardozos descended from a free mulatto woman who was part Indian (name unknown) and a Spanish Sephardic Jew named Isaac Nunez Cardozo. Issac Cardozo was a plantation owner in South Carolina whose son was an ordained Congregational minister and South Carolina's secretary of state during Reconstruction.

William Warrick Cardozo and his sisters were light in complexion and sometimes for business purposes his sisters were able to pass for white One of six children Cardozo was his parents only son ...

Article

Benjamin R. Justesen

teacher, physician, public official, legislator, and lay religious leader, was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, to Mary Ann Sampson, a slave, and an unnamed white father of Scottish descent. Green was raised in Wilmington by his mother, who later married Reverend Cornelius Sampson, an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion clergyman. After Wilmington's fall to invading Union forces in early 1865, Green was allowed to begin his formal education at age twenty in the local Presbyterian parochial school.

For the next two years, while working as a carpenter by day, Green attended school at night. An excellent student, he supplemented his savings with loans to enter Lincoln University in May 1867 and continued to work before being granted a scholarship in his second year. He completed his bachelor's degree in 1872 taught for a year in Lincoln s normal and preparatory schools and ...

Article

Geraldine Rhoades Beckford

physician, was born a slave in North Carolina. Little else is known about her early life, including the names of her parents. In 1884 she enrolled in the normal course at Fisk University, and to pay for tuition she alternated each year of study with a year of picking cotton. She graduated in 1891.

Grier taught at Paine Normal School and Industrial Institute in Augusta, Georgia, during the 1890–1891 school year, but her long-range goal was to become a physician. In 1890, just one year before her graduation from Fisk, she wrote to Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, inquiring about aid that was available to “an emancipated slave” who wanted to enter “so lofty a profession.” No doubt Grier had heard about the school from her mentor and friend Emily Howland a Quaker teacher and suffragette from upstate New York who had gone south to participate ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Dalyce Newby

physician and medical educator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert Purvis Sr., a well-to-do abolitionist, and Harriet Forten Purvis, daughter of James Forten, a prosperous sailmaker and civic leader. Purvis received his early education in Quaker-administered public schools and then at Oberlin College, which he attended from 1860 to 1863. For his medical studies he attended Wooster Medical College, which later was incorporated into Western Reserve University Medical School, in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating with an MD in 1865. During the summer of 1864 Purvis served as a military nurse, based at Camp Barker, a contraband hospital in Washington, D.C., which later formed the foundation of Freedmen's Hospital.

Upon graduating he petitioned to and was accepted by the U S Volunteers as an assistant surgeon for the Union army one of only eight African Americans accepted as surgeons during the war He ...

Article

Shari Rudavsky

physician and medical educator, was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the son of James William Roman, a former slave, and Anna Walker McGuinn the child of a former slave Charles s parents met in Canada where his father had fled about twenty years before the Civil War After the Emancipation Proclamation a year and a half before his birth they had moved back to the United States but making a living there was difficult and by the time Charles was six the family had returned to Ontario where his father worked as a broom maker From an early age Charles knew he wanted to be a physician Soon after the move to Canada he apprenticed himself to a local herbalist possibly his grandmother His practice ended when one of his patient s parents became nervous about the treatment Roman had administered and called in the local doctor who ...

Article

Dalyce Newby

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 ...

Article

teacher and nurse during the Civil War, was born on the Isle of Wight, one of the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia, the eldest of nine children of slaves Hagar Ann Reed and Raymond Baker. When Susie was seven years of age, she and one of her brothers were allowed by their master to live in Savannah with their grandmother, Dolly Reed, a free person of color. Determined to see her grandchildren learn to read and write even though state law at the time prohibited the education of blacks, Reed found a way around the legislation; she sent the children to a secret school run by a friend. After two years, Susie attended another secret school followed by private tutoring also illegal By the time she was 12 Susie was one of probably only a few slaves in Georgia who had command of written ...

Article

Joy Elizondo

The child of a washerwoman and a musician, José Manuel Valdés was born in Lima, Peru's capital city, when nearly half its population was black. Though his parents could not afford to educate him, his godparents and mother's employers stepped in, seeing to his early education at a prominent religious school. He would later become the first black writer to publish in Peru, both as a doctor and as a poet, as early as 1791.

After completing school, Valdés yearned to become a priest, but during the colonial period blacks were denied access to the priesthood by the Catholic Church, and he turned instead to medicine. He could have prospered as a romancista, a type of medical practitioner that required little training and was restricted to “external remedies.” In 1788 he took the more challenging route and pursued the title of latinista surgeon for ...