Science/ Medicine

This category includes blacks in all sciences; medicine, technology, health, physics, psychology, agronomy, environment, research and more.

Alexander Augusta, a pioneering doctor

Alexander Augusta

*Alexander Thomas Augusta was born on this date in 1825. He was a Black physician and educator.

From Norfolk, Virginia, as a young man he first made his way to Baltimore, Maryland, where he worked as a barber. He began his study of medicine with private tutors and next applied for admission to the University of Pennsylvania. Though access was denied, a Professor William Gibson was impressed with Augusta and brought him under his guidance.

Joycelyn Elders, straight talk about health

Joycelyn Elders

*Joycelyn Elders was born on this date in 1933. She is an African American physician, chemist, administrator, former U. S. surgeon general and educator.

Math educator extraordinaire, Evelyn Granville

Evelyn Granville

Evelyn Boyd Granville was born on this date in 1924 in Washington, D.C. She is an African American mathematician, teacher, and scientist.

She attended a then-segregated Dunbar High School, and was encouraged in the subject by two of her mathematics teachers. Granville attended Smith College on a partial scholarship. In 1945, she graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She worked with Einar Hille, her Ph.D. faculty adviser at Yale University, in functional analysis.

Dr. Robert Boyd, a scholar and a doctor born

Robert F. Boyd

Robert Fulton Boyd was born on this date in 1855. He was an African American educator and doctor.

He was born in Giles County, Tennessee, the son of Maria Coffey and Edward Boyd. He was raised on a farm and in 1866, his mother brought him to Nashville to live with Paul Eve, a surgeon with an international reputation. During his stay with Dr. Eve, he enrolled in night classes at Fisk University and dreamed of becoming a physician. In 1872, he hired himself to General James H. Hickman, a real estate agent. Boyd worked half the day and attended school the other half, receiving no wages.

Wheatley-Provident Hospital founded

The 1916 founding of Wheatley-Provident hospital is celebrated on this date. It was the first medical facility to serve the Black community of Kansas City, MO.

Created in 1910 as the Perry Sanitarium and Training School for Nurses, it was named after Dr. J. Edward Perry. The hospital, however, had become too small and outdated to fully serve the community’s needs. Through the efforts of many area civic groups, Wheatley-Provident was replaced by Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital. On June 12, 1972, the last patients of Wheatley-Provident were moved to the new hospital.

Mabel Staupers was a nursing pioneer

Mabel K. Staupers

*This date in 1890 marks the birthday of Mabel Keaton Staupers. She was an African American leader in breaking down racial barriers in American nursing.

Mabel Staupers was born in Barbados, West Indies. At 13 she immigrated with her parents to Washington D.C. In 1917 she graduated from Freedmen’s Hospital School of Nursing and was employed at the Harlem Tuberculosis Committee.

Howard Jones, engineer of excellence

Howard Jones Jr.

*Howard St. Claire Jones, Jr. was born on this date in 1921. He was an African American engineer.

One of three children Jones grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He stayed in his hometown to go to Virginia Union University, where he graduated in 1943 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics. After college, he moved to Washington, D. C. to be a government engineer. He came to Howard University’s government training program as a junior engineer and took a job at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS).

Emma Wheeler was an early caregiver

Emma R. Wheeler

*Emma Rochelle Wheeler was born on this date in 1882. She was an African American doctor.

Wheeler grew up in Florida, near Gainesville where her fascination with medicine was stimulated at the age of six. An eye problem prompted her father to take her to a white female diagnostician. Young Emma and the physician became friends, and when she went to school in Gainesville the doctor's long-lasting interest in her continued. At age seventeen, Wheeler finished Cookman College and in 1900 she married Joseph R. Howard, a teacher.

Eliza Bryant pioneered Black nursing homes

Eliza Bryant

The birth of Eliza Bryant in 1827 is celebrated on this date. She was a Black abolitionist and businesswoman.

She grew up on a plantation in Wayne County North Carolina her parents were Polly Simmons, a slave, and her master. In 1848 her mother was freed and her family moved north, purchasing a home in Cleveland, Ohio with funds from her master. Young Bryant’s education is unknown but she was a pioneer in the movement to welcome and assist Blacks to the Cleveland area, particularly those moving from the southern states through the Great Migration after emancipation.

Andrew J. Beard was a great inventor

Andrew Beard

*The birth of Andrew Beard in 1849 is celebrated on this date. He was a black farmer and inventor.