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

“To Bear Fruit for Our Race” (1927-1954, Section 10)

Dr. Edward B. Perry grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of a physician, Dr. J. Edward Perry. The son graduated from the Howard University College of Medicine in 1928. He completed an internship at Hospital No. 2 in St. Louis and went on to residencies in Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. After completing his residencies, Dr. Edward B. Perry settled in Houston and joined the medical staff at Houston Negro Hospital and later at St. Elizabeth Hospital.

Photo of Dr. John Edward Perry

Dr. J. Edward Perry, c.1947(Courtesy of "Forty Cords of Wood" by John Edward Perry, Courtesy of Inman E. Page Library, Lincoln University of Missouri, Jefferson City, MO)

What was the importance of the Houston Negro Hospital in the fight for civil rights?

In 1947 Dr. J. Edward Perry joined his son and Houston’s medical community when he came out of retirement to become the Executive Director of the Houston Negro Hospital. Dr. J. Edward Perry spent most of his career in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was instrumental in the black hospital movement. With the development of the Texas Medical Center in Houston, he saw an opportunity to promote the growth of quality medical facilities for the Texas city’s African-American population. In an interview he stated, “There is so much to be done in a city that will have such a great medical center as Houston plans. Here at the Houston Negro Hospital our beginning is humble but through hard work will bear fruit for our race.” 1  He immediately began working with hospital committees to raise funds, with the goal of remaking the hospital into a center that offered medical training to African Americans. Under Perry’s administration, the Negro Hospital expanded its services and continued to work for the health of Houston’s black community.


  1. “Head of Negro Hospital Here Takes Office,” The Houston Chronicle, 23 March 1947.

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