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Jonathan M Hess Lecture – Dr. Reva Sias

November 13, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

This lecture illuminates the rhetorical significance and cultural activism of the first three African American women who earned the title of physician in the United States. Drs. Rebecca Lee Crumple, Rebecca L. Cole, and Susan Smith McKinney-Steward were the first African American women to climb to the rank of medical doctor, even as David Jones Peck was the first African American man to graduate in 1847, and Elizabeth Blackwell was the first white woman to receive a “medical diploma” in 1849, from medical colleges in the United States. As archival records show, the first “Colored Doctresses” published medical discourses on public health as instruments of professional and cultural uplift. Collectively, the African American women used their professional knowledge, training, and medical crafts to challenge the status quo of whiteness, race, and gender. Individually, the Black women were authors and community leaders in their own right, who wrote for, about, and with the communities they served. The nineteenthcentury African American physicians use their afrafeminist voices and agency to uniquely engage medical, cultural, political, and social norms, after the American Civil War and into the progressive era in the United States.

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November 13, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm