Medicine

Benjamin S. Carson, Sr.

Benjamin S. Carson, Sr.

Benjamin S. Carson, Sr.

Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr. is a pioneer in brain surgical techniques; however, he is best known for leading the first surgical team that successfully separated a pair of Siamese twins joined at the head. Despite struggling with school as a child, he won a scholarship to Yale and received a bachelor’s degree.

He became the first black person accepted into the residency program at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and after spending a year in Australia, Carson was promoted to Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins in 1984. At 31, he was the youngest doctor to hold such a position.

Carson has been the recipient of numerous awards for his pioneering role and development of brain surgery techniques.

Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American nurse to study and work professionally in the United States. She was also a co-founder of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) with Adah B. Thoms.

Mahoney was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1845 (her exact birthday is unknown), to Charles and Mary Jane Sterwart Mahoney. She grew up with her parents, a sister and one brother in Boston, Massachusetts where her interest in nursing began as a teenager. Continue reading

Jane Cooke Wright

Jane Cooke Wright

Jane Cooke Wright

Jane Cooke Wright was born in New York City in 1919. Her father, Corinne Cooke Wright is well known for his cancer research, and being a civil rights leader and cancer researcher.

Jane graduated from Smith College in 1942. She graduated from New York Medical School in 1945. She interned and did her residency at Bellevue Hospital and Harlem Hospital respectfully from 1945 to 1947.

Wright worked with her father at the Harlem Cancer Research Foundation from 1947 to 1952. She researched cancer chemotherapy here. Jane was named director of Harlem Hospital Cancer Research Foundation in 1952. She became an instructor and director of cancer research at the New York Medical School. Wright was named associate dean of the school and became the first black physician to do so. Currently she is a professor emeritus at the school.

Paul Cuffee

Captain Paul Cuffee

Captain Paul Cuffee

A man of great energy and resolve, Paul Cuffee was born on the tiny island of Cuttyhunk, eleven miles offshore of New Bedford, MA. He was the seventh of ten children of Kofi Slocum, a freed African slave, and Ruth Moses, a Wampanoag Indian. His father took the name Slocum out of respect for the man who had freed him, John Slocum, a Quaker whose family owned Cuttyhunk.

His mother was descended from a long line of Wampanoags who had been friendly to the early white settlers. They were a hardworking, devout couple. Quakers themselves, they raised their children to be contributing citizens. They were free and ambitious, and they prospered.  Continue reading

William Hinton

William Hinton

William Hinton

1883-1959. William Augustus Hinton was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 15, 1883. After two years at the University of Kansas (1900-1902), he earned a Bachelor of Science from Harvard University in 1905. Lacking the funds for medical school, William Hinton taught at Walden University, Nashville, Tennessee, and in Langston, Oklahoma for four years. During the summer months he continued his studies in bacteriology and physiology at the University of Chicago. William Hinton entered Harvard Medical School in 1909 and earned a M.D. from Harvard Medical College (with honors) in 1912, completing his degree in only three years. (Aside: “The [Harvard] Medical School offered him a scholarship for Negro students, but Hinton refused the offer.

In competition with the entire student body he won the Wigglesworth Scholarship and the Hayden Scholarship.” Source: DNB p.315.) After graduation from Harvard Medical School in 1912, Hinton worked for the Wasserman Laboratory, which at that time was part of the Harvard Medical School. In the mornings he was a volunteer assistant tin the Department of Pathology of the Massachusetts General Hospital. At the Wasserman Laboratory, Hinton began teaching serological techniques.  Continue reading

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