An African American obstetrician and civil rights activist from Washington, D.C., Dorothy Ferebee, MD (1898-1980) was descended from lawyers, journalists, politicians, and a judge. At a time when African Americans faced Jim Crow segregation, desperate poverty, and lynch mobs, she advised presidents on civil rights and assisted foreign governments on public health issues. Ferebee was president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha black service sorority and later became the president of the powerful National Council of Negro Women in the nascent civil rights era. She stood up to plantation owners to bring health care to sharecroppers through her Mississippi Health Project during the Great Depression. A household name in black America for forty years, Ferebee was also the media darling of the thriving black press. Ironically, her fame and relevance faded as African Americans achieved the political power for which she had fought. In this talk based on her biography, She Can Bring Us Home (University of Nebraska Press, 2015), Diane Kiesel tells Ferebee’s extraordinary story of struggle and personal sacrifice to a new generation.
About the Speaker
The Honorable Diane Kiesel is an acting justice of the New York State Supreme Court. She presides in the Bronx County Criminal Term. A former journalist, she is a winner of the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism and is the author of Domestic Violence: Law, Policy, and Practice (LexisNexis, 2007).
Emily Miranker, MA
Team Administrator/Project Coordinator
The New York Academy of Medicine
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