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David Killingray

Medical doctor and Pan‐Africanist.

Born in Barbados, Clarke won an island scholarship and came to London in 1914 to study medicine. He graduated from Cambridge in 1918 and qualified as a surgeon two years later. He set up a medical practice in Southwark, south‐east London, where he worked until 1965.

Clarke was a founder member of the League of Coloured Peoples (LCP) in 1931 and active in encouraging and also providing generous financial support for various Pan‐African causes. Clarke was non‐partisan and enjoyed good relations with the left and right Pan‐African factions in the 1930s–1940s, and this enabled him to act as a mediator in planning for the Conference on the African Peoples, Democracy, and World Peace held in London in July 1939 Many Caribbean and African visitors to Britain stayed at Clarke s home in Barnet which was also used for some LCP social functions for ...



Jane Poyner

For much of the 19th century medical practice in Britain did not enjoy high status, although by 1860 the old system of training through apprenticeship was in decline. An Act of 1858 established the General Medical Council, which began to police practitioners but did not make unqualified practice illegal. Nevertheless, in the next 20 years medical training had become more professional, more scientifically based, and the practice of medicine more highly esteemed. Training lasted several years and was costly. Increased numbers of qualified doctors made for an overcrowded profession. There was little scientific education in colonial secondary schools, and full medical training was not available in the British West Indies or in the African colonies, although in the mid‐19th century Fourah Bay College, Freetown, Sierra Leone, provided some basic pre‐medical instruction; the Yaba Medical Training College in Nigeria was not opened until 1930 and then only to award diplomas ...


Lola Young

The science of selective breeding for the health of a race, considered to have directly contributed to racist theorizing.

1.Galton, eugenics, and racial superiority

2.Eugenics and the health of the nation


Leila Kamali

Historian, editor, and political activist born on 10 December 1921 near Johannesburg, the child of Latvian Jews. Hirson was educated at Hebrew school in Johannesburg, and studied mathematics at the University of Witwatersrand, where he later worked as a physicist. In 1940 he joined the left‐wing Hashomer Hatzair, subsequently becoming a member of various Trotskyist groups. Between 1944 and 1946 he was a political organizer for the Workers' International League.

Hirson participated in setting up black trade unions, in extremely difficult conditions created by the Suppression of Communism Act. He became involved in the Non‐European Unity Movement, and in the late 1950s joined the Congress of Democrats, the white arm of the ANC‐led Congress Alliance.

After the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 Hirson and his colleagues highly critical of the Congress Alliance s leadership and policies organized the National Committee for Liberation which advocated sabotage as a substitute for peaceful ...


Jeffrey Green

In the 1850s the Medical Register was established in Britain. It listed those who were entitled to practise. Nurses and dentists had yet to be treated in this manner. Communities continued to trust individuals who attended mothers in childbed, herbalists, and those who could set broken bones. There were charlatans, the makers of dubious remedies, fairground fakers, and abortionists. Black people had a part in all of this, with gullible patients seeing extra powers in their very appearance.

James McClune Smith, a New Yorker who qualified in medicine at Glasgow University in the 1830s, returned to practise in New York. Active in the anti‐slavery movement, Smith's British experience is known through his recollections of the actor Ira Aldridge. Less public medical personnel are more difficult to identify.

Sierra Leonean Africans were the first qualify under the 1858 legislation. William Davies and James Africanus Horton qualified in London ...


Amon Saba Sakaana

Jamaicansculptor working in Britain. Ronald Moody was born on 20 August 1900 in Kingston, Jamaica, the youngest of six children. He attended Calabar College in Jamaica, and, following the aspirations of his family, he chose to study dentistry. He duly arrived in Britain in 1923 and attended King's College London, where he graduated in 1930 and found employment in London as a dentist. His initial fascination with sculpture was expressed through experiments with plasticine; he then graduated to clay, then wood and bronze. His first sculpture in wood was the piece Wohin, expressing his interest in European classical composers. His first public exhibition was at the New Burlington Galleries in a group show in 1935. His primary patron was the Italian director Alberto Cavalcanti, whose contacts with Paris led him to his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Billiet‐Vorms in 1937 The impact was electric among ...


Jenny Douglas

The National Health Service (NHS) was established in 1948 to provide free and accessible health care for all. Labour shortages in crucial areas such as nursing led to recruitment campaigns throughout the Caribbean for workers to staff this new public service. Ironically, the recruitment drive was led by the Minister of Health, Enoch Powell MP, who would later emerge as one of the most vociferous anti‐immigration politicians. Powell's brief was to recruit nurses and other support workers from the Caribbean to help build the nascent NHS. Nurses were recruited from across the English‐speaking Caribbean but primarily from Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, and Guyana. Doctors also came from the Caribbean.

Early studies showed that black women from the Caribbean who migrated to England in the 1950s and 1960s were channelled into ancillary and auxiliary jobs within the NHS Even when they attempted to undertake nursing training many were offered training opportunities within ...


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 ...


Racial categories are still being practised even though most scientists agree that genetically speaking there is little or no validity for dividing groups of humans in this way Although the creation of racial hierarchies has to a large extent fallen into disrepute skin colour remains a powerful signifier in contemporary ...



Ellis Cashmore

Blacks' involvement in British sport dates back to the late 18th century, when black prizefighters astonished spectators with their prowess. That prowess remained a source of fascination for over 200 years, prompting explanations that were often based on, and indeed provided momentum for, racist theories.

1.After the first battle ...