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You Should Know Their Names - James McCune Smith

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Do you know the name James McCune Smith? Perhaps the most recognizable Black doctor in American history would be Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., who got his doctorate in theology at Boston University in 1955. Of course, he wasn’t a doctor in the way we typically think of doctors - no med school, no stethoscope, no scrubs or lab coat. No, he wasn’t a doctor doctor, but a Black man from over a century before was.

His name was James McCune Smith. Though he made some of the most significant strides in proving Black intelligence and performed countless acts of charity, he was never admitted into the American Medical Association. He worked alongside some of the great figures of American abolition, but he only receives a fraction of the recognition. McCune Smith was a smart, selfless man who dedicated his life’s work to helping the helpless - from orphans to the enslaved. He broke barriers, gave back to his community, and helped in the cause to rid the US of its cruel practice of slavery.

Creds Laura Babiak

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