Clarence Spigner

Academic Historian
Clarence Spigner is a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina where he was raised in poverty and segregation. He is presently an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Services in the School of Public Health & Community Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. He has joint appointment in the International Health Program, the African Studies Program, and in the American Ethnic Studies Department. Spigner teaches and conducts research in the areas of health and race/ethnic relations and popular culture. He has published on tobacco-related behaviors among Asian youths and on knowledge and perceptions about organ donation among minority populations.

Laquan McDonald (1997-2014)

Image Ownership: Public domain On October 20, 2014, Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old African American teenager, was shot 16 times within 14 seconds by Jason Van Dyke, a 36-year-old white Chicago, Illinois policeman.  McDonald’s death was another catalyst for the growing national Black Lives Matter Movement.  It also had significant local … Read MoreLaquan McDonald (1997-2014)

Patient Zero: Thomas Eric Duncan and the Ebola Crisis in West Africa and the United States

In the following article Dr. Clarence Spigner, Professor of Public Health at the University of Washington, Seattle, describes the life of the first patient to die of Ebola on U.S. soil and the larger crisis of Ebola in West Africa.  He views it as a … Read MorePatient Zero: Thomas Eric Duncan and the Ebola Crisis in West Africa and the United States

Henrietta Lacks and the Debate Over the Ethics of Bio-Medical Research

Henrietta Lacks and Her Husband, David, ca. 1945 In the article below Clarence Spigner, DrPH., Professor of Health Services in the School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, briefly describes the saga of Henrietta Lacks whose cells have been used without her family’s permission … Read MoreHenrietta Lacks and the Debate Over the Ethics of Bio-Medical Research

Nat “King” Cole (1919–1965)

Jazz pianist and popular singer Nathaniel Adams Coles was born into a musical family in Montgomery, Alabama on March 17, 1919.  His mother Perlina was a choir director in his father Edward’s Baptist church.  His three brothers, Edward, Ike, and Freddy, became professional musicians.  Cole … Read MoreNat “King” Cole (1919–1965)

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

Image Courtesy of the National Museum of American History Born on August 15, 1875 to a physician from Sierra Leone and an Englishwoman, musical composer and conductor Samuel Coleridge-Taylor grew-up in Holborn, England.  He revealed his musical talents at the age of five, began studying … Read MoreSamuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

Woodrow Wilson Woolwine [“Woody”] Strode (1914-1994)

  Image Ownership: Public Domain Born July 28, 1914, in Los Angeles, California, Woody Strode (Woodrow Wilson Woolwine Strode) was first of the star football athletes to become a successful film actor.   He and Kenny Washington integrated the National Football League (NFL), and Strode played … Read MoreWoodrow Wilson Woolwine [“Woody”] Strode (1914-1994)

James Brown (1933-2006)

Born May 3, 1933, into poverty in racially segregated Barnwell, South Carolina, James Brown became the most assertively black rhythm and blues singer ever accorded mainstream acceptance before audiences throughout the world. Arrested for breaking and entering at age 15, Brown’s early run-ins with the … Read MoreJames Brown (1933-2006)