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 (1981-2002, Section 1)

Photo of Dr. Bernard Harris at age 6

Dr. Harris at age 6 (Courtesy of Dr. Harris)

The final decades of the twentieth century offered new opportunities for African-Americans. As a young boy growing up in San Antonio, Dr. Bernard Harris gazed at the night sky and dreamed of being an astronaut.  Medicine became his path to space. Following his medical school graduation and a residency at the Mayo Clinic, one of the nation’s top medical facilities, Dr. Harris joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In 1995, he became the first African-American to walk in space.

Photo of Dr. Bernard Harris

Dr. Bernard Harris, 1995 (Courtesy of Dr. Harris)

As the United States finished the twentieth century and began a new one, other African-American physicians also reached lofty new heights in their careers, albeit here on earth. Like all physicians, they responded to the challenges of new technologies and drug therapies, the ascent of managed care, and other developments in medicine. In addition to excellence in their profession, Houston’s black doctors continued to assume leadership roles in the community, in government, and in professional organizations, both locally and nationally. In 2002, the Harris County Medical Society, which maintained a segregated membership until 1955, named Dr. William Fleming its hundredth president and its first African-American president.

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