These messages focus on little known individuals who have impacted our society largely through their own initiatives.

    • A Hidden Hero as the Mother of Modern Medicine

      Henrietta Lacks was born in Roanoke, Virginia in 1920. After her mother died, she went to live with her maternal grandfather in Clover, Virginia, where she grew up farming tobacco. She married in 1941 and, later that year, she and her husband relocated to Baltimore...

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    • Preventive Medicine for All

      Rebecca Crumpler was born in Delaware in 1831 and raised in Pennsylvania by her aunt who cared for the sick in their community. While her aunt was not trained as a doctor, she took care of those who were sick. Her aunt became an inspiration for Rebecca’s career....

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    • Battlefield Nursing

      Mary (Grant) Seacole was born in British Colonial Jamaica in 1805. Her father was a Scottish lieutenant and her mother ran a successful boarding house. Her mother also practiced traditional Afro-Caribbean medicine and was an accomplished healer. Mary learned these...

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    • The First African-American Woman Bank President

      Maggie (Draper) Walker grew up in post-Civil War Richmond. Her mother was a formerly enslaved woman and her biological father was a Confederate soldier. When Maggie was 14 years old, she joined the Independent Order of St. Luke (IOSL), a Black fraternal society that...

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