Mikelle Howard

Independent Historian

Mikelle Howard is currently a sophomore at the University of Washington, Seattle. She plans on majoring in biology with the end goal to become a pediatric surgeon.  Feel free to contact Mikelle to contact Mikelle with any questions, suggestions or concerns you may have about her entries.

(Sara) Saartjie Baartman (1789-1815)

Saartjie (Sara) Baartman was one of the first black women known to be subjugated to human sexual trafficking. She was derisively named the “Hottentot Venus” by Europeans as her body would be publicly examined and exposed inhumanly throughout the duration of her young life.  Moreover. her experience … Read More(Sara) Saartjie Baartman (1789-1815)

James Price Johnson (1894-1955)

Mostly known as the “Father of the Stride Piano,” James Johnson transformed music during the Harlem Renaissance.  With his form of composition and performance style, he altered ragtime into a more ambitious musical presentation which incorporated elements of early jazz. Over his lifetime, Johnson would record over 400 … Read MoreJames Price Johnson (1894-1955)

Odette Harris (1970- )

In 2018, Dr. Odette Harris of Stanford University in California became the second African American female professor of neurosurgery in the United States, following Dr. Alexa Canady who was appointed in 1981. Harris’s research and clinical focus is on traumatic brain injury and peripheral nerve neurosurgery. Born in Jamaica in 1970, Harris took an interest … Read MoreOdette Harris (1970- )

Simeon Lewis Carson, M.D. (1882-1954)

Dr. Simeon Lewis Carson, a late-19th and early-20th century black physician, would be most known for being one of the first surgeons within Washington, D.C. to use spinal anesthesia during surgery. However, he is also renowned for his skillful use of general anesthesia throughout most of the surgeries … Read MoreSimeon Lewis Carson, M.D. (1882-1954)

Henry Fitzbutler (1842-1901)

Although mainly known as the founder of Louisville National Medical College, Dr. Henry Fitzbutler was an exceptional physician and educator. Fitzbutler and his wife Sarah Helen McCurdy became activists in their community of Essex County, Canada and later when they returned to the United States. Henry Fitzbutler was born somewhere in Virginia on December 22, 1842. … Read MoreHenry Fitzbutler (1842-1901)

James Durham (1762-1802?)

Dr. James Durham has been widely acknowledged as the first recognized African American to be a physician in the United States. Due to lack of detailed documentation of his life, little is known about him including the date and manner of his death, as he would go … Read MoreJames Durham (1762-1802?)