Dorothy Boulding Ferebee, a black physician of international renown
Dorothy Ferebee (1950)
Dorothy Boulding Ferebee was born in 1889. She was an African-American physician, administrator, international leader on children, youth, and women.
She was born in Norfolk, VA, the daughter of Florence Ruffin Boulding and Benjamin Boulding. She went to Armstrong Grammar School, then graduated from English High School in Boston, MA, with the highest honors in a class of 329. She then graduated from Simmons College in Boston. Young Boulding graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1924. She married Claude Thurston Ferebee, also a physician (dentist) and medical educator at Howard University, in 1928. They had twins: Claude Jr., and Dorothy. After 30 years of marriage the couple divorced.
Ferebee joined the faculty of Howard University, where from 1934 until 1941, she was the Medical Director of the Mississippi Health Project, a rural health initiative sponsored by the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Moving to Washington D.C., she served as a professor at the Howard University Medical School and as Director of Howard University's Health Services while she maintained her private medical practice.
She became a member of the executive board of UNICEF and the White House’s Children and Youth Council. The U.S. Department of Labor sent her to Germany in 1951 to investigate the problems of the women. President John F. Kennedy selected Ferebee to join the Council for Food for Peace, sending her on a five-month tour of Africa. As a delegate to an international conference of women of African descent, she represented 19 countries in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.
In 1967, she spoke for the 3,000 delegates of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. She officially resigned from Howard University in 1968, but continued to lecture about preventive medicine at Tufts University.
Dorothy Boulding Ferebee died September 14, 1980 from congestive heart failure in Washington, D.C., at the age of 81.
Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York
Ferebee, Dorothy Boulding