Did You Know??

a year ago

Susan La Flesche Picotte was the first Native American women to graduate as a physician in the United States.  She graduated in spring  of 1889. Dr. Susan La Flesche earned her title as a medical doctor 31 years before her people Native Americans would earn the right to vote and 35 years before her people would become citizens in their country. In June of 1889, Dr. Susan La Flesche wrote the government commissioner to go home and serve her people. She returned to the Omaha reservation and began to treat Indian children who were attending the government boarding school. It was not long before that changed and both native and whites, young and old, were coming to see her for medical help, along with other things like sewing lessons and personal advice.  In 1890, only 4 percent of doctors in the United States were women.  Only one was Native American, Dr. Susan La Flesche.  She served as the only doctor for the whole Omaha Reservation, which had over 1,244 people and covered 1,350 square miles. She worked in all weather conditions, all days, and whenever needed. “My office hours are any and all hours of the day and night" (Starita, 2016), Susan once wrote.

Madam C. J. Walker (1867-1919) was “the first Black woman millionaire in America” and made her fortune thanks to her homemade line of hair care products for Black women. Born Sarah Breedlove to parents who had been enslaved, she was inspired to create her hair products after an experience with hair loss, which led to the creation of the “Walker system” of hair care. A talented entrepreneur with a knack for self-promotion, Walker built a business empire, at first selling products directly to Black women, then employing “beauty culturalists” to hand-sell her wares. The self-made millionaire used her fortune to fund scholarships for women at the Tuskegee Institute and donated large parts of her wealth to the NAACP, the Black YMCA and other charities.  The Netflix movie Selfmade was inspired by her life (www.history.com)

Learn more here:  https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/madame-c-j-walker