EARLY AFRICAN AMERICAN PHYSICIANS IN THE ALABAMA BLACK BELT

Passing along this information on an upcoming program of the Black Belt African American Genealogical and Historical Society.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A.J. WRIGHT TO SPEAK ON EARLY AFRICAN AMERICAN PHYSICIANS IN THE ALABAMA BLACK BELT

Records of Black physicians in Alabama date to shortly after the Civil War

SELMA, AL — October 16, 2007 — A.J. Wright, M.L.S., Associate Professor and Director, Section on the History of Anesthesia, Department of Anesthesiology Library, University of Alabama at Birmingham, will deliver a talk on “Early African American Physicians in the Alabama Black Belt” on Saturday, October 20, 2007, in the Vaughan-Smitherman Room, Selma-Dallas County Public Library, 1103 Selma Avenue, Selma AL, at 12:00 PM. The event is sponsored by the Black Belt African American Genealogical and Historical Society. It is free and open to the public.

A.J. Wright has been researching the history of anesthesia in the United States for more than twenty years and in Alabama for the past decade. In the process of doing his research he began to come across records of Black physicians who were practicing in Alabama shortly after the Civil War and who began to receive certification in Alabama beginning in the late 19th century.

Among the prominent Black Belt physicians researched by Mr. Wright are: Lincoln Laconia Burwell who graduated valedictorian from both Selma University in 1886 and from Leonard Medical School of Shaw University in 1890 and owned a drug store on Franklin Street and set up Burwell Infirmary on Philpot Avenue in Selma; John Wesley Moorer who was born in Braggs and graduated from Selma University and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN., and did post-graduate work at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore; Cornelius Nathaniel Dorsett who was born a slave in 1852 and became Alabama’s first licensed Black physician and founded Hale Infirmary in Montgomery, Alabama’s first hospital for Blacks; and, Halle Tanner Dillon, who in 1891 became the first African-American woman and first female to sit for the Alabama medical licensure examination.

A.J. Wright is a frequent speaker and author of articles related to medical history in Alabama and elsewhere. He is also the moderator of the “alabamahistory” discussion list at Yahoo! Groups.

For more information about the event, contact B.J. Smothers, 334-877-4846 / 404-273-6965, bjsmothers@bellsouth.net. To reserve a salad or sandwich box lunch ($8.00 each) for the event, contact B.J. Smothers or Rev. Dr. Jabrina Howard, 334-872-8984 or revdrjabri@msn.com by Friday, October 19.

About BBAAGHS:
BBAAGHS’ mission is to discover, collect, organize and preserve the genealogy and history of African Americans in Alabama ’s Black Belt Region. The group meets on the 3rd Saturday of the month at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library, 1103 Selma Ave., Selma, AL. For more information, visit the website: www.bbaaghs.org.

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