Black History Month Woman of the Day: Rebecca Lee Crumpler


Rebecca Lee Crumpler’s (1831-1895) love of medicine and helping others recover from suffering inspired her to become the first African American woman to become a physician in the United States. She earned her M.D. from the New England Female Medical College and spent several years serving under other doctors to gain all the knowledge she could.

Crumpler’s 1883 publication, A Book of Medical Discourses, was one of the first books about medicine written by an African American. It followed her journey through her career, and her longing to help people. There is very little known about Rebecca and no surviving photographs, but the introduction of her book holds some knowledge.

Rebecca changed the face for medicine early on and proved that African American women were very capable of taking care of others with disease. Her story has served as inspiration over the past century as a stepping stone to getting what you want in life.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia