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Black History Month Feature: Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler

Black History Month Feature: Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler

Published: Friday, February 11, 2022

February is Black History Month! This year’s theme is “Black Health and Wellness” and the Hudson College of Public Health Sovereignty, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council is offering a three-week feature highlighting the many ways in which the Black community has contributed to healthcare!

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was an African American pioneer in public health and health care. She was born in Delaware in 1831. She was raised by her aunt, who cared for ill people and exposed her to the healthcare field. She attended private a school, the West-Newton English and Classical School. She moved to Massachusetts in 1852, where she worked as a nurse for almost ten years. In 1860, she was admitted to the New England Female Medical College, where she graduated in 1864.

Dr. Crumpler was the first African American woman in the United States to graduate with a medical degree and the ONLY African American woman to graduate from the New England Female Medical College. In 1883 she published “Book of Medical Discourses” which was one of the first medical publications by an African American.