Honoring Black History Month in 2018

Honoring Black History Month in 2018

Image courtesy of historian.nursing.upenn.edu

Beginning on the first of February each year, our nation spends the month honoring the history and contributions of African Americans. The theme for Black History Month 2018 is “African Americans in Times of War”, spotlighting the brave men and women who served their country in the armed forces, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the American principles of freedom and democracy.

More than 2.5 million black men registered for the draft during World War II and one million served as draftees or volunteers in all branches of the armed forces. A majority of black men were assigned to segregated combat groups a decade before the American civil rights movement even started. Recognition of the African-American contribution to the war effort would eventually lay the foundation for the civil rights protests of the 1950s and 60s.

Online College created a list of African Americans who “forever changed academia”. We chose a few of our favorites who were influential in the healthcare system:

  • Daniel Hale Williams founded the first interracial hospital in America in 1891, the hospital served as the first school for black nurses in the country.
  • Doctor Dorothy Lavinia Brown became the first African-American female surgeon in the South in 1954, and later became the first black woman on the Tennessee Legislature.
  • Percy Julian was responsible for conducting the chemical synthesis research in the production of cortisone drugs. He was named “Chicago’s Man of the Year” in 1950.
  • Charles Drew was a leading authority on blood plasma in the 1940s, originating the concept of safely storing blood in “blood banks”.
  • Ernest Everett Just was an internationally recognized biologist who changed the way cells are studied. He co-founded the Omega Psi Phi fraternity at Howard University which would later create what is known as Black History Month today.

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