Due to technical difficulties, some of the video links in this website no longer work. We are uncertain as to when or if we will be able to correct these problems. However, the video clips constitute only a small portion of the material in this website. Moreover, the full transcripts of the oral histories from which the video clips were drawn can be found by following the "Resources" link below.

To Bear Fruit For Our Race College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Story Experience (1927-1954, Section 1)

Dr. Edith Irby Jones, 1950

Dr. Edith Irby Jones entering University of Arkansas College of Medicine, 1948 (Courtesy of Dr. Edith Irby Jones)

1948 � Dr. Edith Irby Jones was the first African American at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine

In September 1948, a young woman proudly stepped through the doors of the University of Arkansas College of Medicine in Little Rock. Dr. Edith Irby Jones, whose mother cleaned other people’s homes and whose father, a tenant farmer, died when she was 6 years old, became the first African American admitted to this medical school and was one of only three women in a class of ninety-one. Dr. Jones and a few other African-American students began to break through barriers at southern medical schools in the late 1940s. Dr. Jones later came to Houston as the second African American accepted for a residency at the Baylor University College of Medicine.

Hear how Dr. Jones felt on her first day of medical school at University of Arkansas below.

In Houston, Dr. Edith Irby Jones joined a cadre of African-American physicians who, since the opening of the Houston Negro Hospital in 1927, had increased their numbers, expanded their facilities to provide better care for their patients, and continued to fight discrimination in Houston, which by 1930 was the largest segregated city in the United States.

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