Dorothy Lavinia Brown (1919-2004)
“Dr. Dorothy Lavinia Brown was the first African American woman surgeon in the South. ….There were no other black women in general surgery in the South and she had to forge through almost universal resistance. She said that “Dr. Matthew Walker was a brave man” because he accepted her into the program despite advice from his staff that a woman couldn’t withstand the rigors of surgery.
Brown worked through a five-year residency at Meharry and George W. Hubbard Hospital to become Assistant Professor of Surgery in 1955 and the first African American woman to be made a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
From 1957 to 1983 Brown was chief of surgery at Nashville’s Riverside Hospital, clinical professor of surgery at Meharry Medical College, and educational director for the Riverside-Meharry Clinical Rotation Program. She also served as a consultant on health, education, and welfare for the National Institutes of Health (National Advisory Council Heart, Lung, and Blood) in 1982.
Brown’s determination, beliefs, and values helped her to break through barriers in various aspects of her life.”
Read more about Dr. Dorothy Lavinia Brown: HERE
Inez Beverly Prosser (1897-1934)
Inez Beverly Prosser was a strong willed individual who beat [the] odds, and had it not been for a tragic accident, would have made even more contributions to psychology and our world as we now know it.
Inez Beverly Prosser was born in 1897 to Samuel Andrew and Veola Hamilton Beverly in the small town of Yoakum, Texas (www.tsha.utexas.edu). She had a long and reputable academic career, which is notable, because it was almost unheard of for a Black woman to be so extensively educated in her time. She received higher training, college, and master’s degrees in education, and served as dean and registrar at Tillotson College from 1921-1930.
In 1931 Inez was awarded the Rockefeller Foundation General Education Board Fellowship because of her excellent and well known work as a teacher (Warren, 1999). In 1933 she received a Ph.D., one of the first African-American women to accomplish this in the United States, in educational psychology from the University of Cincinnati (www.tsha.utexas.edu). Her dissertation, which received a huge amount of recognition, was on The Non-Academic Development of Negro Children in Mixed and Segregated Schools. It was also one of the earliest treatises on the social domain of elementary school children (Warren, 1999).
More about Inez Beverly Prosser HERE.
Charlotte Forten (1837-1914)
“Charlotte Forten was the first northern African-American schoolteacher to go south to teach former slaves. A sensitive and genteel young woman, she brought intense idealism and fierce abolitionist zeal to her work. As a black woman, she hoped to find kinship with the freedmen, though her own education set her apart from the former slaves. She stayed on St. Helena Island for two years, then succumbed to ill health and had to return north. In 1864, she published “Life on the Sea Islands” in The Atlantic Monthly, which brought the work of the Port Royal Experiment to the attention of Northern readers.”
Read more about Charlotte Forten HERE. And read “Life on the Sea Islands” at The Atlantic.