By Cheryl Wills
The New York Academy of Medicine is honoring a Manhattan doctor who was discriminated against more than 150 years ago, NY1 exclusively reports, hoping to right a historic wrong.
His name was Dr. James McCune Smith. Born in New York in 1813, he came of age in a divided nation that was still half-slave and half-free. When no college would admit him, McCune Smith went to Europe and got his degrees from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
Joanne Edey Rhodes, Africana professor of Hunter College, said it was a daring move. "He could've been kidnapped," she said. "You really took a chance."
Dr. Judy Salerno, the president of the New York Academy of Medicine, said she learned about McCune Smith's story a few months ago.
"He was a very accomplished person academically, intellectually," Salerno said. "He was a pharmacist, a scientist, a physician."