BLACK HISTORY MONTH: FEBRUARY 2023
February 01, 2023: As we commemorate Black History Month, let us not only acknowledge, but also actively celebrate and uplift the invaluable contributions of Black individuals to the field of pharmacy. Despite the systemic racism and discrimination they have faced, countless Black pharmacists have made immeasurable contributions to the profession and to their communities. They have not only broken barriers but also served as shining examples of resilience, determination, and excellence. It is imperative that we recognize and uplift the accomplishments of Black pharmacists, not just during this month, but all year round. While we can't recognize them all, here are four incredible examples of Black excellence in the field of pharmacy.
THE CHANGE MAKERS
James McCune Smith was an American physician, apothecary, abolitionist, and author. He was the first African American to hold a medical degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and after his return to the United States, he became the first African American to run a pharmacy in the nation. Despite his impressive achievements, Smith was not admitted to the American Medical Association or local medical associations. He was a public intellectual, using his training in medicine and statistics to refute common misconceptions about race, intelligence, medicine, and society in general.
Anna Louise James was a pioneering figure as the first female African American pharmacist in Connecticut. She operated the James Pharmacy in Old Saybrook for fifty years. After graduating from college, James initially ran a drugstore in Hartford before going to work with her brother-in-law, Peter Lane, at his Lane Pharmacy in Old Saybrook. After Lane left the pharmacy in 1917, James took over and became the sole owner in 1922, renaming it as James Pharmacy. She lived upstairs from the pharmacy and kept it open every day, with half days on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. James made extensive renovations to the pharmacy which was originally built in the 1790s as a general store. In 1967, she retired and closed the pharmacy, yet continued to live upstairs until her death in 1977.
At Outcomes®, we recognize the importance of representation and inclusivity in the field of pharmacy and strive to create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected. Like these amazing individuals highlighted here, we are committed to creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity and ensures equity across our organization. Let's continue to learn and celebrate the contributions of Black individuals and work to make the field of pharmacy more inclusive for all.
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