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AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
Published on February, 2020
H E K T O R A M A

 

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THE BLACK BARBERSHOP AS A SOURCE OF INFORMATION

 

 

 

Barbershop health-prevention outreach has some inherent limitations. Barbers enjoy positions of respect and trust in the black community,7,11,15 but men can still be uncomfortable discussing confidential health issues. In the St. Louis project, barbers sometimes grew discouraged by the reluctance of clients to participate in health screening. The very public environment in the barber chairs and waiting areas could inhibit a patron from having a hypertension screening along with his haircut and shave: “well, these guys are all watching me.” “I don’t want to have my blood pressure checked.” “Well, you don’t have to. We’re just asking if you want to.” Because barbers …

 

 

By Joyce Balls-Berry, Lea C. Dacy, and James Balls

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EARLY BLACK PHYSICIANS IN ALABAMA
 

 


 

(Hale Infirmary, Montgomery, Alabama)

There is a brief but interesting note in the July 1953 issue of the Journal of the National Medical Association, the official voice of the organization founded in 1895 for African-American physicians in the U.S. At first glance this decision by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama – as it was formally known – seems astonishing. Brown v. Board of Education had been argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in December 1952, but it would be reargued in December 1953, and the fateful decision was not handed down until May 1954. In the coming years the state of Alabama would be on the forefront of fighting not only Brown but any and all efforts to end segregation in the public sphere.

 

Burgess Scruggs

John A. Kenney

Arthur M. Brown

Halle Tranner Dillon

By A.J. Wright READ ARTICLE

 


 

AFRICAN AMERICAN MEDICAL PIONEERS

Alexander Thomas Augusta

Daniel Hale Williams

Dr. Louis Wright

Dorothy Lavinia Brown

 

The road for African Americans in the medical professions has not been easy. Enslaved Africans received no education.1 During the first half of the nineteenth-century medical schools in the North would admit only a very small number of black students. Even after the Civil War, African Americans continued to be refused admission to colleges, medical associations, and hospitals.2

But those driven to heal refused to give up. When no American schools enrolled them, they studied abroad3 or started their own schools4 and training hospitals. Howard University was established in 1868, and Meharry Medical School opened in Nashville in 1876, both historically black medical schools. Several other schools were founded but later closed under the reforms recommended by Fletcher Report.5

 

By Mariel Tishma

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DR. REBECCA  COLE  AND  RACIAL  HEALTH  DISPARITIES IN THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY PHILADELPHIA

 

 

From the beginning of black women’s professional involvement in medicine, public health marked a central component of the scope of their practice. Rebecca Cole, the second black woman physician in the United States, began her career as the “sanitary visitor” in the late 1860s for the New York Infirmary for Women and Children run by two of the first women physicians, famous sisters Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell. Elizabeth recalled that: “With tact and care,” Cole provided “simple, practical instruction to poor mothers on the management of infants and the preservation of the health of their families.”1 After spending much of the rest of the Reconstruction era practicing in South Carolina, Cole returned to her native Philadelphia and opened the Women’s Directory with white woman physician and fellow WMCP alumna, Charlotte Abby. In this work, Cole likely continued to hone an interest in public health while still treating individual patients, a balance that would become common among African American women physicians engaged in public health work.

By Meg Vigil-Fowler

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THE FIRST BLACK OWNED AND OPERATED MEDICAL INSTITUTION IN THE U.S.

 

Emma Reynolds, a young Chicago woman in the late 1880’s had been denied admission by each of the city’s nursing schools on account of her race. Her brother, pastor of St. Stephen’s African Methodist Episcopal Church, approached Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a young black surgeon, for help. Dr. Williams himself, despite his degree from Chicago Medical College …

 

By Raymond H. Curry & VeeLa Sengstacke Gonzales READ ARTICLE
 

CHARACTER, GENIUS, AND A MISSING PERSON IN
MEDICINE

 

A twenty-year old African American man, honors student, and son of a carpenter had his eyes set on becoming a physician. This was not unfounded. In his middle class community there were fire fighters, doctors, and teachers. Working as a carpenter he saved for seven years to finance his education …

 

By Carrie Barron

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“MISSISSIPPI APPENDECTOMY” AND OTHER STORIES WHEN SILENCE IS COMPLICITY

 

She sits perched on the exam table in a too-large gown. We talk about a hysterectomy I have recommended, to remove the fibroid uterus that extends from its customary place in the pelvis to just beneath her ribs. She is in her late forties and has two grandchildren, yet she is tearful. This is not the first time we have met, nor is it the first time we have had this conversation. She is very polite when she tells me she just does not trust me. I am grateful for her honesty. And also hurt …

 

By Alida Rol

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FREEDMAN’S HOSPITAL

 


 

The name itself, Freedmen’s Hospital, betrays a sense of bitter conflict: that there existed men unfreed, and they were not treated here – and that even the freed men had only this hospital. In fact, Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington D.C. was the first of its kind because it provided medical care to former slaves, eventually becoming the major hospital for neighboring African American communities.1 It opened in 1862, in the midst of the American Civil War, as thousands of African Americans rushed toward the North for freedom …

 

By Yanglu Chen

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