I have been posting Black History moments on my Instagram account and my sister recommended that I share them in my blog…so for the rest of the month of February, I will post one moment as a blog. Feel free to share, repost, retweet, and whatever else social media allows you to do these days…Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad, our future generations lose momentum…
Do you know who Dr. Daniel Hale Williams is? Stevie Wonder included him in a song he wrote entitled ” Black Man.” Dr. Williams was a cardiac surgeon and was the second person and first Black man to successfully perform open-heart surgery in 1893. The son of a freedman, Dr. Williams did not follow a linear path to medicine. As a young boy, he was apprenticed to a shoemaker after his father died and the family was split up amongst relatives. He ran away, however to reunite with one of his sisters and eventually started a barbershop. As a barber he became obsessed with a local physician and decided to attend medical school. He graduated but as a Black man he was not allowed to practice medicine in Chicago’s hospitals so being the entrepreneur that he was, he started his own hospital that would allow him to practice and could be utilitzed by Black people. Provident hospital in Chicago became the first integrated hospital in the US and remained open until 1987. It was reopened in 1993 and continues to provide services to Chicago’s southside. From shoemaker apprentice, to barber, to cardiac surgeon and hospital owner, Dr. Williams reminds us that what you do does not define who you can become!