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Betty Neal Crutcher

Executive mentor Betty Neal Crutcher was born on November 21, 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama to Rosea and Homer Neal. Crutcher graduated from Tuskegee Institute High School in 1967, and went on to receive her B.S. degree in sociology from the Tuskegee Institute in 1971 and her M.P.H. degree from the University of Michigan in 1973. Later, she earned her Ph.D. in educational administration from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 2006. Her dissertation is titled, “Cross-Cultural Mentoring: An Examination of the Perspective of Mentors,” and includes her creation of “The Three V’s: Values, Virtues, and Vision,” a special understanding into the heart of cross-cultural mentoring.

In 1980, Crutcher served as the assistant to the chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 1987 Crutcher became the assistant to the president of Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Crutcher moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1991, where she served as the first director of community relations at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. In 1994, Crutcher was hired as a community relations specialist at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1999, Crutcher returned to the Midwest where she was appointed community outreach coordinator for Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. From 2004 through 2014, when her husband, Ronald Crutcher, became the president of Wheaton College, in Norton, Massachusetts, she served as Presidential Spouse and as a Senior Mentoring Consultant. In 2015, Crutcher became Presidential Spouse and Executive Mentor at the University of Richmond when her husband was appointed university president.

Throughout her career, Crutcher has played a cross-cultural mentoring role in health care and at various higher education institutions. She served as a senior fellow at the Oliver Wendell Holmes Society at Harvard University and as a faculty member at the Harvard Medical School Continuing Education Program. Crutcher served as one of the co-founders of the Sowing Seeds of Hope program, a Massachusetts cross-cultural mentoring initiative for high school and college students interested in the health care professions. She served as a faculty member at the 2014 American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE) Leadership and Mentoring Institute. Crutcher has authored several articles including “A Personal Connection,” Vital Speeches of the Day, January 2018, “Cross Cultural Mentoring: A Pathway to Making Excellence Inclusive,” Liberal Education, a journal of the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU), spring 2014; “Why Are We Here? Communal Bad Blood Perpetuates a Legacy of Mistrust,” Journal of Health Care, Science, and the Humanities, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2014, and co-authored the articles “Transforming the Negative Legacy of the Unethical United States Public Health Syphilis Study, Diversity and Democracy, summer 2018; “Transcending the Legacy of Silence and Shame Surrounding the Unethical Syphilis Study at Tuskegee,” Diverse Issues in Education, March 2017; and “The Impact of Cross-Cultural Interactions on Medical Students’ Preparedness to Care for Diverse Patients,” Academic Medicine, November 2012.

Crutcher and her husband, Ronald Crutcher, have one daughter, Sara.

Betty Neal Crutcher was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 18, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.003

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/18/2018

Last Name

Crutcher

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

St. Joseph Catholic School

Tuskegee Institute High School

Miami University

University of Michigan

Tuskegee University

First Name

Betty

Birth City, State, Country

Tuskegee

HM ID

CRU05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Berlin, Germany, Tuskegee, Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Use Your Initiative.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

11/21/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Favorite Food

Collard Greens

Short Description

Executive mentor Betty Neal Crutcher (1949 - ) was an executive mentor at various higher education institutions including Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as well as first lady at Wheaton College and the University of Richmond.

Employment

University of Richmond

Wheaton College

Miami University

University of Texas at Austin

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Guilford College

University of North Carolina

Favorite Color

Blue & Red

Dr. Robert L. Smith

Professor and physician Dr. Robert L. Smith was born on December 20, 1936 in Terry, Mississippi to Willie B. Smith and Lillie Mae Smith. He received his B.A. degree in chemistry from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi in 1957, and his M.D. degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1961.

Smith completed his clinical training at the West Side Medical Clinic of Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois and returned to Jackson, Mississippi and founded the Family Heath Center, now known as the Central Mississippi Health Services, Inc. In 1964, Smith worked with the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR) to provide medical services for civil rights workers during the Freedom Summer in Jackson, Mississippi as its first Southern Medical Field Director. Smith later worked as an assistant clinical professor of family medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical School, where he participated in the development of the Family Medicine Program as a co-principal investigator with the National Research Program’s Arteriosclerotic Risks in Community Studies. Smith worked as an adjunct professor at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee and Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi as well as professor emeritus position in the department of community medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. During his career, Smith also assisted in institutionalizing the pre-health program at Tougaloo College.

In 2011, part of Jackson Metro Parkway was renamed in honor of Dr. Robert L. Smith. In 2014, Smith received the Community Service Award from the Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State of Institutions of Higher Learning, and was also named Diversity Educator of the Year. In 2017, the American Medical Association presented Smith with its Medal of Valor Award for his civil rights work. In the same year, the Mississippi State Senate honored Smith for his community health work. Smith was a charter diplomat of the American Board of Family Physicians and a charter fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He was an active staff member of Mississippi Baptist Health Systems, St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital, and Central Mississippi Medical Center.

Dr. Robert L. Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 13, 2017 and April 23, 2019.

Accession Number

A2017.222

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/13/2017

12/13/2017 |and| 4/23/2019

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Schools

Terry Grove School

Hinds County Agricultural High School

Tougaloo College

Howard University College of Medicine

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Terry

HM ID

SMI35

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans

Favorite Quote

Keep it simple.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Birth Date

12/20/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jackson

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard Greens, Potatoes, Okra, Grits and Eggs

Short Description

Professor and physician Dr. Robert L. Smith (1936 - ) was the president of Central Mississippi Health Services, Inc. and the first Southern Medical Field Director for the Medical Committee for Human Rights.

Employment

Mississippi State Hospital

Cook County Hospital

Tougaloo College

Private Practice

Central Mississippi Health Services, Inc.

University of Mississippi Medical Center

Tufts University

Jackson State University

St. Dominic's Hospital

Baptist Hospital

Merit Hospital System

Brown University School of Medicine

Favorite Color

Blue and Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Robert L. Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith talks about his paternal grandfather's journey to Terry, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his home in Terry, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his first piano

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his father's work in the livestock trade

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers the movie theaters in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls visiting his sister in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers the Terry Grove School in Terry, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his decision to stop studying piano

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his introduction to medicine

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls contracting salmonella

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes the Utica Institute-Hinds County Agricultural High School, Colored in Utica, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his parents' disciplinary methods

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his decision to attend Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his experiences at Tougaloo College

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his influences at Tougaloo College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his decision to attend the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his classmates at the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers the murder of Emmett Till

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith talks about his scholarship from the State of Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his return to Terry, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls being surveilled by the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his decision to join the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes the State of Mississippi's attacks on Tougaloo College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers meeting Medgar Evers at Tougaloo College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his experiences of voter suppression in Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers Medgar Evers' mass meetings in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers James Meredith's supporters

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith talks about the assassination of Medgar Evers

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls the march after Medgar Evers' funeral

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers picketing the American Medical Association, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers picketing the American Medical Association, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls founding the Medical Committee for Civil Rights

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$7

DATitle
Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his introduction to medicine
Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls the march after Medgar Evers' funeral
Transcript
So you went from Dean Dixon the con- the conductor.$$(Laughter) To Dean Dixon to Charles Drew [Charles R. Drew].$$To Charles Drew.$$(Laughter) Yeah.$$What was it? You just liked the way they looked (laughter)?$$(Laughter) Well, but there was just the influence. Now what made me do that, I don't know. But it also made me a little different because some of my family and some of the students told me, "You don't know what you want to do." So, you know, that's kind of crazy, a country boy from Terry, Mississippi, in grade school [Terry Grove School] saying he want to be a physician. And (laughter) are you following me? And certainly there was no black physicians around. But I can't say that I wasn't exposed to a physician because it happened to have been two things. I had a white Jewish physician, who was a bird hunter who wanted to come down and hunt birds on my property's land. And my daddy [Joe Smith], being the bigot he was, he would ask my daddy to go out in the woods with him, and my daddy would say, "Well, take that boy," (laughter), you know. And he took me (laughter) and I would start asking him questions and we would start interacting with these different questions. And he, and then sometimes on these bird hunts he would bring me material. And he, when he retired, he gave a set of medical books.$$How old were you then?$$Oh, probably ten.$$So you were first exposed to medicine by a white Jewish doctor--$$Um-hm.$$--who was a bird hunter on your daddy's land (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Dad's pro- Daddy's property, yeah.$$How improbable is that?$$Well, it was (laughter) not that improbable, but that's the (laughter), that's the circumstances.$Tell me about the impact of Medgar's [Medgar Evers] assassination on you and your focus, what--just, just recall that.$$That, again--that, again, was just a horrific experience, culminating in demonstrations in the street, on Rose and later his funeral. And of course, I attended his funeral. And Mrs. Sanders [Thelma Sanders] and I and a group, not again thinking about the impact of our lives, joined that march and walked hand in hand from Rose Street, from Lynch Street [John R. Lynch Street] to Capitol Street. And I was, we was dared to come across Capitol Street. And thank god John Doar and his group parted the waters and let us proceed up through, up Capitol, up Farish Street to Collins and Frazier Funeral Home [sic. Frazier and Collins Funeral Home; Collins Funeral Home, Inc., Jackson, Mississippi].$$So you marched from Rose Street--$$I marched from Capitol, from--it was the Lynch Street Masonic Temple (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Temple.$$--all the way from up what then was Terry Road [Jackson Terry Road; Terry Road], all the way up to--down Pascagoula [Street] to Farish Street and from Farish Street--$$Across Capitol Street.$$Right. That's where the stop was. We weren't--$$So you're across Capitol Street. You didn't act--$$We weren't supposed to cross Capitol Street.$$To cross Capitol Street--$$That was--$$--but you did.$$We did.$$Thanks to John Doar, D-O-A-R, who had been appointed by--$$Appointed--$$--Kennedy [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] to be his ombudsman for civil rights issues.$$Yes.$$That was--$$But we were supposed to be more down like dogs when we crossed, when we crossed.$$So what exactly did John Doar do?$$He came out from somewhere and--$$So did he have federal marshals with him or something?$$Had federal marshals with him.$$And the, and the new, and the city police--$$City police--$$--is just--$$--who was parked on, they was parked on rooftops and everything at Capitol and at Capitol and Farish to post a blocker, so we crossed Capitol.$$And they moved aside?$$Moved aside.$$Now explain to me why the white power structure was so adamant about you not marching on Capitol Street but merely crossing it en route to the funeral home [Frazier and Collins Funeral Home; Collins Funeral Home, Inc., Jackson, Mississippi]? What (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well--$$--what was, what was the thinking?$$It was, it was a symbol of, just a symbol of white oppression. We're in charge. That's the only thing that I can see, is a symbol of white oppression, that we were not supposed to be--we were not supposed to Capitol, cross Capitol Street. That was a great street.$$In the shadow of the old--$$It's--$$--state capitol.$$Shadow of the old state--a symbol of white power.

Vera Ricketts

Pharmacist and civic leader Vera Ricketts was born on October 20, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Sarah Chilton Phelps and Robert Phelps, Sr. There, Ricketts attended Hazel Hart Hendricks School 37 and Crispus Attucks High School where she graduated in 1941. She later went on to attend Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and graduated with her B.S. degree in pharmacology in 1948. As an undergraduate student, she was an active member of the Congress of Racial Equality.

Ricketts began her career as a pharmacist at Howard University in Washington, D.C. In 1958, Ricketts became the first female African American pharmacist at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. During this period, she also helped establish the pharmacy at Lincoln Hospital in Durham, where she trained nurse practitioners in pharmacology. Ricketts eventually returned with her husband, William Newton Ricketts, to Washington, D.C., where she worked at the District of Columbia General Hospital pharmacy. In 1960, she and her husband moved to Los Angeles, California, where she worked as an administrator at his medical practice. An active community leader, Ricketts advocated for the creation of the Martin Luther King Jr. General Hospital in Los Angeles’ South Central neighborhood. Ricketts went on to serve as the president of the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association from 1981 to 1982.

In addition to her professional career, Ricketts was also active in other community organizations in the Los Angeles area. In 1979, Ricketts founded the Inglewood Pacific Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and she served as its chapter president from 1983 to 1985. Ricketts also founded the Theta Mu Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Through her membership in the sorority, she volunteered on the board of the Jenesse Center, Inc., a shelter for battered women and children in Los Angeles. In 2017, Ricketts and her husband, William Newton Ricketts, received recognition for their thirty plus years of humanitarian work in Jamaica.

Ricketts and her husband have four daughters: Verlie Ricketts Lockings, Renee Ricketts, Victoria Ricketts Wilson and Wendy Ricketts Greene.

Vera Ricketts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 23, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.143

Sex

Female

Interview Date

07/23/2017

Last Name

Ricketts

Maker Category
Schools

Hazel Hart Hendricks School 37

Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School

Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

First Name

Vera

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

RIC21

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Give something back to the community.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/20/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Oats, Raisins and Dates

Short Description

Pharmacist and civic leader Vera Ricketts (1922 - ) worked at Howard University Hospital and Duke University Hospital. She also served as president of the Inglewood Pacific Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and was a founding member of the graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Employment

Howard University Hospital; Freedmen's Hospital

Duke University Hospital

D.C. General Hospital

Favorite Color

Yellow

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vera Ricketts' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vera Ricketts lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vera Ricketts describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vera Ricketts describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vera Ricketts talks about her parents' move from Clarksville, Tennessee to Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vera Ricketts describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vera Ricketts describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vera Ricketts recalls her early interest in science

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vera Ricketts remembers attending Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Vera Ricketts talks about her early racial experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Vera Ricketts remembers the everyday amenities of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Vera Ricketts remembers her early career aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Vera Ricketts recalls attending the Indianapolis College of Pharmacy in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Vera Ricketts remembers her challenges at the Indianapolis College of Pharmacy

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vera Ricketts remembers graduating from Indianapolis College of Pharmacy in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vera Ricketts describes her responsibilities as a pharmacist

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vera Ricketts recalls being rejected for a job in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vera Ricketts remembers meeting her husband, William Newton Ricketts

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vera Ricketts recalls working at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vera Ricketts talks about the birth of her daughters

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vera Ricketts recalls her coworkers' support at Duke University Hospital

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vera Ricketts remembers returning to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Vera Ricketts recalls joining Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Vera Ricketts remembers segregation in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vera Ricketts recalls her work at Lincoln Hospital in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vera Ricketts remembers moving to District of Columbia General Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vera Ricketts describes the process for manufacturing saline solutions

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vera Ricketts remembers moving to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vera Ricketts talks about her administration work at her husband's medical practice

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vera Ricketts remembers advocating for the Martin Luther King Jr. General Hospital in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vera Ricketts talks about her organizational involvement in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vera Ricketts remembers the founding of the Los Angeles chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Vera Ricketts recalls establishing a partnership between The Links, Incorporated and Jamaica, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Vera Ricketts recalls establishing a partnership between The Links, Incorporated and Jamaica, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Vera Ricketts remembers co-chartering the Inglewood Pacific Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Vera Ricketts talks about her public service activities

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Vera Ricketts describes the role of friendship in The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vera Ricketts narrates her photographs

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vera Ricketts describes her role as president of the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vera Ricketts describes her daughter's careers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vera Ricketts talks about her grandchildren

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vera Ricketts reflects upon the election of President Barack Obama

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vera Ricketts describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vera Ricketts reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vera Ricketts shares her advice to aspiring pharmacists

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Vera Ricketts describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Vera Ricketts reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Vera Ricketts talks about her marriage to William Newton Ricketts

Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey

Non-profit executive Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey was born on September 25, 1954 in Seattle, Washington to Dr. Blanche Sellers-Lavizzo and Dr. Philip Lavizzo. She attended the University of Washington before transferring to the State University of New York-Stony Brook for two years. Lavizzo-Mourey then continued her education at Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1979. In 1984, she was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar, and earned her M.B.A. degree in health policy from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1986.

Lavizzo-Mourey joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania as an assistant professor. During her tenure, she served as the director of the Institute on Aging from 1984 to 1992. She took a leave of absence from the university to work as deputy administrator for the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research under President George H.W. Bush’s administration. Lavizzo-Mourey then served as quality of care chair for President Bill Clinton’s panels on health care until 1994, when she returned to the University of Pennsylvania as a professor. Lavizzo-Mourey served as the associate executive vice president for health policy for the health system from 1994 to 2001, and the Sylvan Eisman professor of medicine and health care systems at the university from 1997 to 2002. In 2001, Lavizzo-Mourey was hired as a senior vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and was appointed to serve as the president and CEO of the foundation in 2003. While at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Lavizzo-Mourey continued to see patients at a clinic in New Jersey, and launched an influential campaign against childhood obesity in 2007. The initiative decreased the obesity rate among children aged two to five years and halted its rise among those aged two to nineteen years.

Lavizzo-Mourey was the recipient of numerous awards, including twenty honorary doctorates from institutions like Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Tufts University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. She appeared on Forbes’ list of the most important women in the world eight times, and as one of Modern Healthcare’s one hundred most influential people in health care eleven times.

Lavizzo-Mourey and her husband, Robert Lavizzo-Mourey, have two adult children.

Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 14, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.038

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/14/2016

Last Name

Lavizzo-Mourey

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Juanita

Schools

Our Lady of Mount Virgin

John Muir Elementary School

Asa Mercer Middle School

The Bush School

University of Pennsylvania

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Harvard Medical School

Harvard

First Name

Risa

Birth City, State, Country

Nashville

HM ID

LAV03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/25/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Roasted chicken, fresh salad

Short Description

Non-profit executive Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey (1954 - ) advised on health policies for the Bush and Clinton administrations, and became president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2002.

Employment

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Various

University of Pennsylvania

The Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls her mother's childhood in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about her mother's aspirations in the medical field

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls her father's childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her father's medical paper

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls her parents' careers after medical school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her parents' private practice in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey remembers the Mount Baker neighborhood in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey remembers Our Lady of Mount Virgin School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls discrimination in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey remembers her early aspirations to become a doctor

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her family's religious and civic involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls her high school education

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her early mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls the economic climate of Seattle, Washington during the late 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about the recession in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls famous people from Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about the Black Panther Party in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her experience at The Bush School in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey remembers her father's death

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her college education

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her influences at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls her acceptance to Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about affirmative action

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her experiences at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her mentors at Harvard Medical School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls the controversy involving Dr. Bernard D. Davis

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey remembers her challenges in medical school

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls the racial climate of Boston, Massachusetts during the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about her former classmate, Jill Stein

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her former classmate, Dr. Augustus A. White, III

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls her residency at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about health care legislation

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about preventive medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes the challenges of medical residency

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls completing her medical residency

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes the Lewis Katz School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls the history of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her decision to specialize in geriatric medicine

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls attending the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her responsibilities at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey remembers her role as the W.E.B Du Bois College House faculty advisor

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about racial tensions in Philadelphia, Pennslvania during the 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey remembers notable students and professors at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her work for the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls working with Hillary Rodham Clinton on The Health Security Act of 1993

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about universal healthcare reform

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about her medical research

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about violence as a public health issue

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls her appointment as Sylvan Eisman Professor of Medicine and Health Care Systems

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes her program to reinstitute house calls

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about alternatives to home health care

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recalls becoming president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about her campaign to combat childhood obesity

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes the factors of a healthy childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes the factors of a healthy childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about the endowment of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about the health crisis in Flint, Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey reflects upon her family

Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey remembers her early aspirations to become a doctor
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey talks about her campaign to combat childhood obesity
Transcript
I'm thinking you've got two parents [Blanche Sellers Lavizzo and Philip V. Lavizzo] who are physicians, did you spend or did your siblings spend a lot of time in the office?$$Um-hm.$$Or yeah, you know, downtown [Central District, Seattle, Washington]?$$I, that's a, that's a great question, we did, I probably spent more than the others, my fondest memory really is Saturday mornings because Saturday mornings was the special time that I had with my mother, she practiced on Saturday mornings, so a pediatrician, you--good time to be in the office if you're gonna take care of kids right? Saturday mornings, so every Saturday morning she and I would drive down to her office which was about three or four blocks from the YWCA [Young Women's Christian Association] and I would then walk to the Y, get a swimming lesson and after my swimming lesson I'd walk back to her office and hang out for the rest of the morning with her and thinking I was helping out in the lab and, you know, sitting in the waiting room with her patients and just being there and seeing her do her work and how people responded to her. And I think that, that really instilled in me the joy of being a doctor, yeah. There were other times that we spent time with them and those were usually when there was an emergency in the evening and they had to go into the hospital there was, there wasn't anybody who could take care of us, you know? The, they were three thousand miles away from their family and anybody who could really come and, come over and help out in the evening, so when that happened we all piled into the car and went to the emergency room, my parents would do their work and my brother [Philip Lavizzo] and I would hang out at the nurses station and, again that was, that was pure joy for me, I think it was just the opposite for my brother.$$Okay, okay. So, so you--you're learning, I guess directly and vicariously about the profession--$$Um-hm.$$--the medical profession by being around--$$Yeah (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) two doctors.$We've invested in ensuring that kids have a healthy weight, it really--a billion dollars in reversing the epidemic of childhood obesity (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) You know that was a big initiative that was launched soon after you joined Robert Wood (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yes.$$The Johnson Foundation [Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey], and one in which the first lady participated in, you know, to a great extent, I mean she was, you know, she made commercials and, and appeared around the country, you know, on behalf of exercise and eating the right foods and--$$Shortly after I became president, I really initiated our commitment to reversing the epidemic of childhood obesity. At the time, there were a lot of debates about whether it was really a problem and we were largely as a country ignoring the, the fact that rates of childhood obesity were steadily going up and the consequences of children being obese at a young age were going to be devastating because all of the illnesses that are associated with obesity like high blood pressure and heart disease and asthma were things that they would start to get at a much younger age. So instead of getting them, these diseases in middle age, they would--we were starting to see diabetes in childhood and in children in their teens and in their early twenties and that of course could lead to a situation where we were producing a generation that was gonna die younger than their parents' generation, in fact, we are seeing now a decrease in life expectancy. So we at the foundation and, and really was a signature program under my administration to address childhood obesity and I remember going to meet with Michelle Obama before she was the first lady, when she was Senator Barack Obama's [HistoryMaker President Barack Obama] wife working in community programs at the University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois]. And it was very clear that then that she was passionate about this issue and so it was extremely gratifying to see her take that on when she became first lady and to essentially become a champion for good policies for educating parents and for changing the, the ways that communities addressed the health of children.

Dr. L. Natalie Carroll

Obstetrician and gynecologist L. Natalie Carroll was born on January 26, 1950 in Nashville, Tennessee. Her father, Dr. Carl Mark Carroll, was a physician; her mother, Ruth (Carter) Carroll, a librarian. Carroll studied psychology at Lake Forest College, in Lake Forest, Illinois, for three years, then continued her education at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where she earned her M.D. degree in 1974. While at Meharry, Carroll completed an externship at Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C. in pediatrics, and an externship at Baylor College of Medicine, Jefferson Davis Hospital, Houston, Texas in obstetrics and gynecology. She also completed her surgery rotation at Harvard University School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital in the Harvard-Meharry Exchange Program.

In 1975, Carroll became the first woman to complete a surgery internship at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.; and, in 1978, became the first African American woman to complete an obstetrics/gynecology residency at the same facility. From 1978 to 1980, she served as chair of the Quality Assurance Review for Women’s Clinic, supervisor/chair of Routine Obstetrics/Gynecology Care, and supervisor of the Nurse Midwife/Nurse practitioner program for obstetrics and gynecology at Darnall Army Hospital in Fort Hood, Texas. In 1980, Carroll opened her own Houston, Texas-based private ob/gyn practice and was named an associate clinical instructor, staff physician and a member of the Quality Assurance Sub-Committee for Obstetrics/Gynecology at Hermann Memorial Hospital, University of Texas Health Science Center. From 1983 to 1985, she chaired the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Houston, and served as chairman of the Quality Assurance and Utilization Review. In 2002, Carroll was elected president of the National Medical Association (NMA), the oldest and largest organization of black healthcare professionals in the United States.

She has served on the boards of the Depelchin Children's Center and the Harris County Children's Protective Services, and on the Texas Department of Health Advisory Board Commission on Birth Defects and Genetic Abnormalities. Carroll was president of the Lone Star State Medical Association and an officer of the Houston Medical Forum. She also served as board chair of the Riverside National Bank and of the NMA. Carroll has been a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and The Links, Inc., a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), and a member of the Texas branch of ACOG, the Diabetic Epidemic Action Council of the American Diabetes Association, and the Stakeholders of AHRQ

Carroll’s awards include the March of Dimes' Outstanding Service Award and the NMA’s Outstanding Leadership Award for chairing the Health Policy Committee in 1997. She was honored by Aetna as a black American physician in 2002, and was named one of Ebony magazine’s 100 List of Organizational Leaders in 2003. Carroll has also received an honorary Doctorate of Science degree from Lake Forest College in Illinois, and a Distinguished Physician of the Year Award from the University of Texas Health Science Center, Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Carroll and her husband, Warren B. Dailey, live in Houston, Texas.

L. Natalie Carroll was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 8, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.141

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/8/2014 |and| 12/1/2016

Last Name

Carroll

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Natalie

Schools

Atherton Elementary

Turner Elementary School

William E. Miller Junior High School

Crispus Attucks Middle

Jack Yates High School

Lake Forest College

Meharry Medical College

First Name

LaVerne

Birth City, State, Country

Nashville

HM ID

CAR30

Favorite Season

Spring and summer

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bermuda

Favorite Quote

Nothing beats a failure but a try.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

1/26/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

I love steak, but don't eat it much any more

Short Description

Obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. L. Natalie Carroll (1950 - ) served as president of the National Medical Association from 2002 to 2003. She operated her own ob/gyn practice in Houston, Texas since 1980.

Employment

Washington Hospital Center

Dept. of Army Darnall Army Hospital

Self Employed

Hermann Memorial Hospital, University of Texas Health Science Center

St. Elizabeth's Hospital

Favorite Color

Pink

Dr. James Williams

As a military officer and physician, Dr. James B. Williams has spent his entire career in public service. Co-founding the Williams Medical Clinic in Chicago with his two brothers, Dr. Jasper F. Williams and Dr. Charles L. Williams, he was also part of a handful of dedicated young men who enlisted and became America’s first black airmen, known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

In 1942, with a pre-medicine background, Williams was drafted into the military and given a position with the medical corps at Camp Pickett, Virginia, and was chosen to attend Medical Administrative Officers Candidate School. Wanting to become a pilot, however, he asked to transfer to the Army Air Corps. He was subsequently appointed an aviation cadet and sent to Boca Raton Club, Florida, for basic training. From there, he went to Yale University for technical training, where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Corps. As a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, Williams served as an Engineering Officer in the post war 99th Fighter Squadron. Also during his time in the service, Williams was among the 101 black officers who attempted to integrate a segregated officers’ club in what became known as the Freeman Field Mutiny.

Williams, a native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, was born on May 28, 1919 to Clara Belle Williams and Jasper B. Williams and was educated in a segregated grade and high school. He earned his B.S. degree in chemistry from New Mexico State University after finishing his military service, and with dreams of becoming a physician, he earned his M.D. degree from Creighton University School of Medicine. There, he met his future wife, Willeen Brown. Williams continued his medical education and was accepted into Creighton’s surgical residency program, earning his M.S. degree in surgery in 1956. With his various medical experiences, he and his brothers established the Williams Clinic on Chicago’s South Side. At its peak, there were more than twenty-eight doctors practicing at the clinic. Williams also worked at Chicago’s St. Bernard’s Hospital in 1957 as its first African American physician, becoming the hospital’s chief of surgery from 1971 to 1972. Williams combined his dedication to progress and medical prowess by meeting with President John F. Kennedy in 1963, as a member of a National Medical Association delegation to advance an amendment to the Hill-Burton Act that would prevent discrimination in hospitals built with federal assistance. Williams also served as physician to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when the civil rights leader lived in Chicago.

Williams and his wife lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The couple had two children: a daughter, Brenda Payton Jones, a former columnist for the Oakland Tribune, and a son, Dr. James B. Williams II, colorectal surgeon in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Williams passed away on November 23, 2016.

Accession Number

A2008.088

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/16/2008

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Middle Name

B

Schools

Booker T. Washington

Wiley College

University of New Mexico

Tuskegee University

New Mexico State University

Creighton University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

El Paso

HM ID

WIL47

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Sponsor

Brenda Payton

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/28/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

11/23/2016

Short Description

Surgeon and tuskegee airman Dr. James Williams (1919 - 2016 ) co-founded the Williams Clinic on Chicago's South Side. He also served as Dr. King's physician while Dr. King lived in Chicago. He was also a member of the Tuskegee Airmen as an Engineering Officer after World War II.

Employment

619th Bombardment Squadron

St. Bernard's Hospital

Williams Clinic

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:770,9:3465,78:4697,107:5390,118:8510,127:9336,136:21148,303:24820,332:25590,350:28180,402:40363,531:61068,739:62124,753:66500,846:68612,875:98250,1212$0,0:4704,73:5376,83:6048,94:27900,190:28300,196:28860,204:29180,209:33208,257:33856,266:35638,285:36043,291:45087,455:45719,466:48326,509:48958,518:49511,526:59952,631:60576,643:61122,653:61434,658:63618,702:69092,739:70555,762:72403,794:73096,806:74174,825:107438,1105:108030,1115:108992,1131:111212,1206:115758,1251:127762,1353:129556,1390:132832,1484:133924,1511:135250,1533:141234,1572:157722,1712:158182,1718:174220,1859:175721,1896:179987,1963:181014,1978:189360,2119
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. James Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. James Williams lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. James Williams describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. James Williams describes his mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. James Williams describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. James Williams describes his father's civil rights activities

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. James Williams recalls Dr. Lawrence A. Nixon

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. James Williams lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. James Williams describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. James Williams remembers moving to Las Cruces, New Mexico

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. James Williams recalls his family's dog

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. James Williams remembers the doctor who treated his brother's clubfoot

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. James Williams recalls the Booker T. Washington School in Las Cruces, New Mexico

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. James Williams describes his parents' careers

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. James Williams describes his family life

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. James Williams describes the role of religion in his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. James Williams describes his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. James Williams describes school segregation in Las Cruces, New Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. James Williams recalls meeting George Washington Carver as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. James Williams describes his high school education at the Booker T. Washington School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. James Williams remembers Wiley College in Marshall, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. James Williams recalls the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. James Williams describes training in aircraft maintenance

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. James Williams recalls his promotion to engineering officer in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. James Williams remembers serving in the U.S. Army during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. James Williams remembers segregation at Freeman Army Airfield

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. James Williams recalls his arrest during the Freeman Field Mutiny

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. James Williams recalls his imprisonment during the Freeman Field Mutiny

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. James Williams describes his legal defense during the Freeman Field Mutiny

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. James Williams recalls serving at the Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. James Williams remembers Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. James Williams describes his and his brothers' early medical careers

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. James Williams recalls applying to medical schools

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. James Williams recalls his older brother's injury on the family homestead

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. James Williams remembers Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. James Williams describes his early medical career

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. James Williams recalls becoming Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s physician

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. James Williams recalls treating an infant who suffered a gunshot wound in utero

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. James Williams remembers serving as a physician for prominent civil rights leaders

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. James Williams remembers Elijah Muhammad

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. James Williams remembers his patients in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. James Williams describes his family members' medical careers

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. James Williams describes the healthcare system in Cuba

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. James Williams talks about health insurance in the United States

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. James Williams describes his membership in professional organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. James Williams reflects upon the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. James Williams describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. James Williams reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. James Williams reflects upon the history of the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. James Williams reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dr. James Williams describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

6$9

DATitle
Dr. James Williams recalls treating an infant who suffered a gunshot wound in utero
Dr. James Williams describes how he would like to be remembered
Transcript
We had a baby that my brother [Jasper F. Williams] and I operated, it was the first baby in the world--the mother was pregnant with the baby and she was shot. And the bullet went in the, the child's flank, went through the liver, the colon, collapsed the right lung and ended up behind the bone in the right upper arm. That's the first baby in the world to survive a gunshot wound to the abdomen and chest in utero, was the one that we did.$$Um-hm.$$I don't think anybody's changed that since then. And my brother delivered the baby, and he handed him to me, and when I got 'em he wasn't breathing, he had no heartbeat, and I started resuscitating him, and his heart started beating and the kid, we invited him to the conference at the University of Illinois, you know, my wife [Willeen Brown Williams] picked up the mother and the child, the little guy was interested in everything that was going on that evening. And the mother said he's the smartest kid she had, she had five other kids, you know, but he survived. And now, he was, that's when we celebrated our twenty-fifth anniversary, and now we just finished our fifty-seventh, so he's, must be about twenty, he's probably twenty-seven years old now.$Our last question is similar to legacy but a little different. Sir, how would you like to be remembered?$$I hadn't thought of that (laughter). But, in my field of surgery I thought I was, could compete with anybody, of course I had good training, I had a master's degree in surgery, which very few surgeons have. And after that I went up to the Royal Vic [Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Canada], in McGill [McGill University, Montreal, Canada] and they had a Jewish surgeon up there who was taking the internal mammary artery and re-vascularizing the heart, that was the fir- I had an opportunity to be up there when he was doing that, which was very unusual. And now they can do bypasses, but what he was doing, he got collateral circulation and he got some mock-ups, you know to show that he was getting collateral circulation in the animals that he did 'em on. I hope we can get somebody in medical school down in Cuba 'cause I think that's a great opportunity that's being overlooked, and still don't know why that some of the black males who were in the program dropped out, I haven't had a chance to talk to the guy from Ohio State [The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio], you know, who takes the kids down there.$$But you wanna be remembered as a good surgeon?$$Oh yeah.$$And?$$And a good parent, yeah. I think that's important. I think that's important for all black parents. I mean, I agree with what Obama's [HistoryMaker President Barack Obama] telling the folks that they have to be responsible for their kids. Of course it's interesting, our kids, we had a motor home and we'd go to skiing in the wintertime, and in the summertime we'd go to Canada, fishing, and both of them liked those things even though they did 'em as kids and they--my son [James Williams II] has a motor home, he still likes to go fishing and skiing. And plus, the fact, I told you he was an excellent surgeon and has made well. Just like I told you, he was considered the best colorectal surgeon in the State of New Mexico.$$Okay, so you'd like to be remembered as a good surgeon and a good parent.$$That's right.

Dr. Edith Irby Jones

Pioneering medical physician Dr. Edith Irby Jones was born on December 23, 1927 to Mattie Buice Irby, a maid, and Robert Irby, a farmer. As a child, Jones witnessed her older sister die due to a typhoid epidemic and was encouraged to pursue a career as a medical physician. She attended Langston Elementary School and Langston Secondary School both in Hot Springs, Arkansas. In 1944, Jones’ high school teacher helped her obtain a scholarship to attend Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee where she majored in chemistry, biology and physics. While at Knoxville College, Jones was an active member of the Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society and was initiated into the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. In addition, Jones was a member of the debate team, pep squad, drama club and the YMCA.

In 1948, nine years before the “Little Rock Nine” integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, Jones became the first African American admitted to the University of Arkansas College of Medicine. Although she was not provided with the same housing, dining or bathroom facilities as white students, Jones received support from her high school alumni, neighbors and a black-owned local newspaper, The Arkansas State-Press. Afterwards, she received an internship at the University Hospital in Little Rock. In Arkansas, Jones practiced medicine and worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement before moving with her family to Texas in 1958. In 1959, Jones began her residency in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals, but the hospital that she was assigned to segregated her, limiting her patient rosters. She completed the last months of her residency at Freedman’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., and in 1963, she received an academic appointment as a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine.

On May 4, 1979, Jones’ achievements were recognized by the State of Arkansas, and she was honored with the founding of the annual celebration of Edith Irby Jones Day. That following year, she became a founding member of the Association of Black Cardiologists Incorporated. In 1985, Jones became the first woman to be elected president of the National Medical Association, and in 1986, she led the United States Task Force on Health to Haiti where the medical and healthcare infrastructure were examined and potential solutions for the impoverished nation were explored.

In 1997, the Edith Irby Jones M.D. Hospital was opened in Houston, Texas. Later, in 2001, Jones was named in Black Enterprise Magazine’s selection of 101 leading black physicians in America. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her contributions to the medical field and the American Civil Rights Movement including: the Sinkler Miller Medical Association National Achievement Award, Kato Models Woman of the Year Award, Pioneer Award from the Student National Medical Association, Mickey Leland Certificate of Congressional Award, Bennett College Belle Ringer Image Award and the Oscar E. Edwards Memorial Award for Volunteers.

Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2008.

Jones passed away on July 15, 2019.

Accession Number

A2008.041

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/10/2008 |and| 5/10/2010

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Irby

Schools

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Langston High School

Knoxville College

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

First Name

Edith

Birth City, State, Country

Mayflower

HM ID

JON20

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Favorite Quote

I Love You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

12/23/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

7/15/2019

Short Description

Internal medicine physician Dr. Edith Irby Jones (1927 - ) integrated the University of Arkansas College of Medicine in 1950. In addition to practicing medicine, Jones served as president of the National Medical Association and on the faculty of the Baylor College of Medicine.

Employment

Baylor College of Medicine

Hermann Hospital

Favorite Color

Red and Black

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Edith Irby Jones' interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones talks about her relationship with her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her memories of her father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones talks about her parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers her father's employment

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers her sister's death

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her neighborhood in Conway, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers contracting rheumatic fever

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones talks about the community of Hot Springs, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones reflects upon her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers her favorite teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her early activities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers the Union Baptist Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones recalls her decision to attend a private university

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers her teenage social activities

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes the sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes the sights of her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers Virginia Clinton Kelley

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones recalls her aspiration to become a doctor

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers enrolling at Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones recalls her work experiences at Knoxville College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her academic experiences at Knoxville College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers joining the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones recalls her medical school applications

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her decision to attend the University of Arkansas Medical School

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones recalls her first day at University of Arkansas Medical School in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones recalls her experiences as the first black student at the University of Arkansas Medical School, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her transportation to the University of Arkansas Medical School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers her apartment in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her private accommodations at University of Arkansas Medical School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones recalls her experiences as the first black student at the University of Arkansas Medical School, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers opening a private medical practice in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones talks about her marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones reflects upon her opportunity to attend medical school

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Edith Irby Jones' interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones recalls her decision to practice medicine in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her children

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers moving to Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her residency at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers her activism with the Freedom Four

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones recalls the support of Daisy Bates

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones reflects upon her decision to integrate an all-white medical school

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers the support of H. Clay Chenault

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones recalls opening a medical practice in Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones talks about her medical office in the Third Ward of Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers joining the staff of Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones talks about her patients

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her teaching career, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her teaching career, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones recalls the founding of the Association of Black Cardiologists

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her early involvement in the National Medical Association

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones talks about her mentor, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones recalls her agenda as president of the National Medical Association

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones talks about the hot springs of Hot Springs, Arkansas

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her humanitarian work in Haiti, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her humanitarian work in Haiti, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes her hopes for the Haitian people

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones talks about her advocacy work

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones shares a message to future generations

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones describes a hospital named in her honor in Houston, Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Edith Irby Jones reflects upon her legacy

Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross

Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross was born on November 26, 1937, in Detroit, Michigan. After receiving his high school diploma from Detroit’s Cass Tech High School in 1955, Ross attended the University of Michigan from 1956 to 1958, and Wayne State University from 1958 to 1960; he earned his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in 1964.

After medical school, Ross joined the Navy’s Medical Corps as an intern in 1964, and then worked as a doctor in the U.S. Navy from 1969 through 1973. Becoming a qualified submarine medical officer in 1966, Ross became the first African American submarine doctor in U.S. Navy history. Ross served aboard the U.S.S. George C. Marshall from 1968 to 1969, where he was the first African American officer to receive a Golden Dolphin Award from the U.S. Navy.

After leaving the Navy and moving to Oakland, California, Ross joined the West Oak Health Center as a consultant orthopedic surgeon and teacher; he later became the chief of orthopedics at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley, California.

A member of the Arlington Medical Group, Ross is also a member of the National Medical Association; The American Medical Association; the NAACP; and Alpha Phi Alpha. Ross and his wife, Etna, have raised four children.

Mr. Ross passed away on January 14, 2007.

Accession Number

A2005.089

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/31/2005

Last Name

Ross

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Alexander Jackson

Schools

Cass Technical High School

Sampson Elementary School

Wayne State University

University of Michigan

Meharry Medical College

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

ROS02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern Spain

Favorite Quote

Let's Roll.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/26/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork Chops, Rice

Death Date

1/14/2007

Short Description

Orthopedic surgeon and physician Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross (1937 - 2007 ) was the first African American submarine doctor in U.S. Navy history and the first African American officer to receive a Golden Dolphin Award from the U.S. Navy. He is chief of orthopedics at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley, California.

Employment

US Naval Yard

West Oak Health Center

Herrick Hospital

Favorite Color

Green Olive

Timing Pairs
0,0:11379,127:12016,135:22310,315:36312,418:42620,555:43228,564:46995,584:60114,734:61554,768:65082,875:68178,946:70770,1013:81954,1167:88550,1282:90260,1313:90925,1321:91495,1328:92065,1335:110966,1619:121704,1722:130112,1852:133190,1914:156200,2224$0,0:11620,260:12201,268:12782,275:14027,286:15272,321:15770,328:32940,555:33660,565:42380,767:50540,919:59178,986:59508,992:61422,1037:71180,1163:83574,1275:84402,1285:91293,1360:91657,1365:96298,1471:96844,1478:97390,1487:108401,1640:114639,1794:115221,1802:116094,1823:121840,1907:126305,1998:126875,2005:131010,2058:134661,2087:145572,2347:145876,2352:146712,2367:158820,2487:161130,2503:161620,2511:161900,2516:162180,2521:162530,2527:168978,2634:171304,2645:171572,2650:181140,2841:182715,2863:187986,2907:190860,2919:192516,2973:192861,2979:193551,2993:201072,3112:205833,3187:206247,3302:218486,3472:222981,3523:244318,3968:254454,4141:256100,4187
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his mother, Julia Josephine Jackson

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his father, Turner William Ross

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his family lineage

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his sister, Lula Ross

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his neighborhood as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes the smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his time at William T. Sampson Elementary School

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes Cass Technical High School

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his sixth grade teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his activities as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his college experience

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers being a social worker in college

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his time at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers attending the March on Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross explains how he became the first black officer on a submarine in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross speaks about being one of the only black officers in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers working at the Newport News Shipyard in Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross recalls a dangerous incident during submarine training

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross speaks about his conflicting duties on board the U.S.S. George C. Marshall

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his first time rigging the submarine for dive

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his interactions with Admiral Hyman G. Rickover

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross recalls his leisure activities on board the U.S.S. George C. Marshall

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his extra duties on board the U.S.S. George C. Marshall

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers receiving the Golden Dolphin Award

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross talks about his exciting life as a U.S. Navy doctor

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross explains joining the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross recalls being featured in Ebony as a black pioneer

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his career path after his patrol in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers working at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, California

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his practice in Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross reflects on the increase in black orthopedic surgeons

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his children

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his relationship with his wife, Etna Ross

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers being introduced to jazz music by his cousin, musician Tommy Flanagan

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers sharing his father's love of poetry and oration

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross talks about cooking as his hobby

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross recalls his fishing trip to the Amazon

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross explains the importance of family

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes the biggest medical concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross elaborates on his core values

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

9$4

DATitle
Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers working at the Newport News Shipyard in Virginia
Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers being a social worker in college
Transcript
By the time I got to the subs [submarines] now--I mean sub school, not, not really much there. Then I got sent--my sub was in Newport News, Virginia. Now things are a little different there, not the [U.S.] Navy per se, but the shipyard was under one of those--you know consent decrees you know to integrate. The shipyard had not, they, they hadn't done too well. They were, they had--they hadn't really hired many blacks in the shipyard and all. So what they usually do is the doctors who came down on the subs they would usually hire them to do the physical exams, and they did that all the time except when I got there. They didn't hire me, so later on eventually somebody said, okay yeah you can work. I mean it's like they sent some tech to tell me I could work.$$So what did you do if you couldn't do the physical exams?$$Oh no, I mean see that was just outside, that was just outside work. You see in other words it wasn't the Navy work.$$Oh okay.$$Where they would just hire the doctors for in the Navy to do, do exams see, and that was just extra pay. So it was just like gravy for the doctors who were there on the subs, so I said so they didn't do that to me. So now what happened was though--so I finally got hired and so one of the reasons they and one of the ways they were getting away or getting around hiring blacks was you had a card, you had-your card for application for employment and on the front of the application for employment, in pencil was either C or W for colored or white, and so that way they'd know who you were so they could hire whoever they wanted and then they could erase that off, see so then it could look like, "Well we just, you know we hired this and that," but on that application card, when the back was the physical exam. So I had all the cards and so what I did was on the physical exam all the people who were Cs, I made them Ws and I took a corresponding number of Ws and made them Cs. So they tell me in the 1967 Newport News Shipyard [Newport News, Virginia] hired more blacks than they ever had in the history of their shipyard, but anyway, but so that was, but that was kinda interesting you know, and then I did--you know, I did exams like everybody else did.$I was gonna say so that wasn't--I was kinda use to doing that, working and going to school so that wasn't really too much.$$And you took science classes in college?$$Oh yeah, right, I was a pre-med, pre-med major, taking all the biology and chemistry, anatomy classes that I needed for that. I had a job at the--I was a social worker, ADC, Aid to Dependent Children, that's what I did in Detroit [Michigan] until I went to med school [at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee]. I got that job, actually they were desperate. In there, there are different areas in Detroit obviously like all cities, and there's one area in Detroit which was bound by streets called Hastings [Street], St. Antoine [Street], Rivard [Street], and Riopelle [Street] and at that time in the '50s [1950s] those were some--that was a bad neighborhood, really bad. It was deemed as one of the worse areas in the city for everything, crime, et cetera and apparently they'd had various ADC workers--in those days the ADC, the workers had to go into the houses and that sort of thing and walk the streets and--they had had apparently a white male there and he had been threatened with his life so he had to leave there. They had a white female and I think they threatened her also, a lot of different ways apparently. They had a black female who had a nervous breakdown. So what they hadn't had was a black male. Now there were some rules and regulations and requirements for being a social worker. Number one, they wanted you to be twenty-one, number two they wanted you to have a car, number three they wanted you to at least be interested in social work. Okay, I wasn't twenty-one, didn't have a car, wasn't really interested in social work--I got the job. Took the test boom, got the job. I did not know at that time (laughter) that the reason why I got the job I didn't know where I was gonna be assigned. So, when they told me what my area was I said, ooh. I mean I've been living in Detroit almost twenty years I'd never even been in these areas. So what I decided was this, I said the area, the grapevine will know who I am, and they will decide whether they're gonna let me survive or not. So my first move for a week or so was just to walk through the area. See, I didn't even have a car so I'm getting off the bus in this tough area. So I just walked through area, every day I just walked through, walked through the whole area, didn't carry anything, didn't have anything, just walking through knowing that they would know who I was, and then, then after about a couple of weeks I took my briefcase, started going to see the folks, and what happened was is they had decided that they would let me slide, they didn't bother me. So I stayed there and I worked and then until I got ready to go to med school. So they didn't--it was nice, I learned a lot that was--that was probably one of the most educational jobs that I've ever had in my life. I mean I learned about people, where people, I learned people--I mean, everybody who's a prostitute doesn't necessarily have a bad heart. People want good things for their children even though they're not doing good things or and that sort of thing. So I mean I just I really learned a lot 'cause I never, I never had any personal contact with anybody like that, with people like that. So it was, it was, it was an experience, it was a great experience, and then when I left actually--and then I guess I became a social worker then. I'm taking blankets outta the house and stuff, I go get an old heater. My mother [Julia Jackson Ross] was saying, "Where you going with that?" I said, "Mom, we got more stuff here than the law allows," you know, and then she use to give stuff away and everything so you know I mean, I'm just, I'm just following what you use to do all the time. So anyway, so I would take stuff around and if people didn't have shoes you know, and I'm taking stuff and, and so when I left they gave me a little party, kinda the block folks did. So it was nice, I mean that was kinda like my reward, but, it was very enjoyable. I learned a lot, I learned a lot about people. I learned how to get along too.

Dr. Rachel Keith

Detroit physician Rachel B. Keith was born Rachel Hannah Celestine Boone on May 30, 1924, in Monrovia, Liberia; her parents, Reverends Clinton C. and Rachel Tharps Boone, were Baptist medical missionaries. Keith’s grandfather, Reverend Lemuel Washington Boone, was a founding trustee of Shaw University. Keith came to the United States at age three and began her schooling at Richmond, Virginia’s Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary School; she graduated from Armstrong High School in 1938, at age thirteen. That same year, Keith lost her mother and moved in with her aunt, Dr. Bessie B. Tharps, in Rhode Island. Keith graduated second in her class from Houghton College in upstate New York in 1943; she completed her medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine in 1949.

In 1949, Keith was featured in The Boston Globe for achieving the highest score to that date on a medical school test. One-time president of the Blackwell Society, Keith was also featured in Look Magazine’s 1949 story about Boston University’s home medical service. After completing her internship at Harlem Hospital, Keith served at Brooklyn’s Coney Island Hospital before moving to Detroit in 1951. Keith completed a two-year residency in internal medicine at Detroit Receiving Hospital in 1953; in 1954, she joined the staff at Detroit Memorial Hospital and entered private practice with Dr. Thomas Batchelor in Conant Gardens. Keith’s hospital affiliations included Burton Mercy Hospital and Sinai Hospital; she was also a member of the Wayne County Medical Society, Michigan State Medical Society, American Medical Association, Detroit Medical Society, Detroit Gastroenterological Society, and the National Medical Association.

Active in the NAACP and the Links, Keith held memberships in the American Leprosy Mission; the Detroit Science Center; and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Keith also served on the Michigan Board of Medicine from 1986 to 1993. Keith and her husband, Judge Damon Keith, raised three daughters.

Keith passed away on Thursday, January 4, 2007.

Accession Number

A2005.023

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/21/2005

Last Name

Keith

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Hannah Celestine

Occupation
Schools

James H. Blackwell School

Houghton College

Brown University

Armstrong High School

Boston University School of Medicine

First Name

Rachel

Birth City, State, Country

Monrovia

HM ID

KEI02

Favorite Season

Fall

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

That's Alright.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

5/30/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

Liberia

Favorite Food

Cobbler (Peach)

Death Date

1/4/2007

Short Description

Physician Dr. Rachel Keith (1924 - 2007 ) worked in Burton Mercy Hospital and Sinai Hospital in the Detroit area, as well as keeping her own private practice.

Employment

Harlem Hospital Center

Detroit Receiving Hospital

Coney Island Hospital

Herman Kiefer Hospital

Detroit Memorial Hospital

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Rachel Keith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Rachel Keith lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her mother's childhood and education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her father's books

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Rachel Keith recalls her memories of Liberia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Rachel Keith recalls her piano lessons as a girl

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Rachel Keith remembers the Great Depression

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her education and decision to study medicine

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Rachel Keith remembers her teachers at Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Rachel Keith remembers her parents' deaths and moving to Rhode Island

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Rachel Keith recalls her education at Cranston High School and Houghton University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her musical studies at Houghton College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her decision to study medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Rachel Keith talks about women in medical school during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her courses at Boston University School of Medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes the Home Medical Service program at Boston University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Rachel Keith remembers being photographed by Look magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Rachel Keith recalls her professors at Boston University School of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Rachel Keith remembers interning at New York City's Harlem Hospital Center

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Rachel Keith recalls her first impressions of Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes how she met her husband, HistoryMaker Damon J. Keith

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes establishing her private practice

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Rachel Keith recalls segregation in the medical field during the 1950s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Rachel Keith recalls the desegregation of Detroit hospitals

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Rachel Keith recalls hearing HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson speak

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her work with the Detroit chapter of the NAACP

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes health issues that impact the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Rachel Keith recalls discrimination in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Rachel Keith reflects upon her life.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Rachel Keith reflects upon issues with patients self-medicating

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Rachel Keith reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes her committee positions

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Rachel Keith shares her thoughts on socialized medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Rachel Keith talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Rachel Keith describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Rachel Keith narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Rachel Keith narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

5$3

DATitle
Dr. Rachel Keith describes her courses at Boston University School of Medicine
Dr. Rachel Keith describes her work with the Detroit chapter of the NAACP
Transcript
It was difficult in medical school [Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts], it was not easy; none of this was easy. I tell you, this pioneering was very difficult. And I, I was always struggling to keep in the upper third of that class. You know, it was just something which I had to do, and I was driven to do. And so much so, that at the commencement, my classmates in the row ahead of me all turned around and said, "Congratulations, Dr. Boone [HistoryMaker Dr. Rachel Keith]," because they knew how hard I had been working. (Laughter) But they were still teasing, they were still teasing. But I had some good professors in medical school. I remember Alice Marston [ph.], who taught us biology. She was a masculine looking woman, and she was always on the side of the females. "You'd better get this down. This is what you should know." And my anatomy teacher, Dr. Connell [Jay Leroy Connell (ph.)], I'll never forget him. Because when we were dissecting our cadaver that we had named Charlie--there were four of us females, and we were on the stomach. And this man had died of cancer of the stomach. And we could not dissect the anatomy of those blood vessels, because they were all mixed up with the cancer. And so, one of the girls at our table started crying. And Dr. Connell came over and he said, "Don't ever cry." He said, "That means that you have self-pity for yourself." He said, "Always be strong and believe that you can do it." (Laughter) And I never forgot him for saying that, you know. So we got through, but we had to learn that anatomy from a book, and not from a cadaver. The sophomore year was difficult like the others. That's the time when you have these heavy textbooks that you have to carry around, and do a lot of reading. But the junior and senior years were the ones that you really feel like you're beginning to be a doctor. That's when you put a white jacket on and you go in and you speak to patients, and they may or may not think that you're a doctor.$Now, you're a lifelong member of the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], is that right (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh yes.$$And you say you've seen a lot of things change here. I know one of the old stories about Detroit [Michigan] is the story about Dr. Ossian Sweet, whose home was invaded, I think, as he tried to move into it.$$Oh, yes, yes. And that was one of the reasons for forming an NAACP chapter here. And my husband [HistoryMaker Damon J. Keith] and Arthur Johnson were a part of the first men's committee for the NAACP. And I was a member of the women's committee, and for a few years I was the chairman of the hospitality committee of the women's committee. And every year I would meet with the women at the committee meetings, and we would plan how we would handle the hospitality for the Fight for Freedom Dinner [Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner]. Because, as you recall, the Fight for Freedom Dinner grew to be quite large.$$From what I understand. Now, Detroiters have been telling me this for two or three years, I didn't know it at first. But it's the largest NAACP dinner, and quite possibly the largest dinner in the country, occupying three adjoining halls with three podiums going on simultaneously, right?$$Yes, ten thousand attendees. And The New York Times wrote it up as the city that came to dinner. And they had a picture of the auditorium with all the people there, a huge crowd. We would have a VIP reception before the dinner, and then the dais guests would parade in, and they had sections of blue, red, green, and yellow. And people used to vie to get seats in the blue section, because they knew that's where the speakers were. So, if you were in the blue section, you had the better seats in the house. But we had it divided up into the dais committee, a committee to take care of visiting dignitaries, and several other sub-committees. But I did chair that for at least nine or ten years. And of course, I became a life member of the NAACP. And of course, I got this by proxy, because my husband was so active in the NAACP that I couldn't miss.$$It was quite an undertaking, to be the chair of. From what I understand, it was the largest of its kind of dinner in the country. So--$$Well, I was only chair of the sub-committee, the sub-committee; I wasn't chair of the whole thing. They do have co-chairs, they have two men who are co-chairs. Then now, they have a woman who is chair of the women's committee.