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Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the First Black Woman in America to Become a Medical Doctor

Today, health workers have become some of the most important laborers around the world. However, even the medical profession had discriminative origins, as it wasn’t until 1864 until the first African American woman became a medical doctor. Her name was Rebecca Lee Crumpler.

Born Rebecca Davis, Rebecca became a physician, an author, and a nurse at a relatively young age. According to an article by PBS New Hour, ‘In 1864, Rebecca became the New England Female Medical College’s only African-American graduate.’ Later in life, Crumpler wrote a book titled, A Book of Medical Discourses in Two Parts.

Rebecca quickly became an inspiration to black women through the years. However, according to the same article, ‘as late as 1920, there were only 65 African-American women doctors in the United States.’ The road to racial diversity and inclusion in the medical profession has proven to be a long one. But thanks to brave scholars and pioneers like Rebecca Crumpler, we can now see black men and women growing in numbers in every line of work.