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Edith Irby Jones


1927 - 2019
Edith Irby Jones (Facebook/UAMS)
Edith Irby Jones was the first African American to attend and graduate from the University of Arkansas Medical School in 1952. She was also the first African American to graduate from a Southern medical school. She was able to pay the tuition with contributions from friends, much of it in nickels and dimes. She opened a practice in Houston where she worked to provide medical care for people in need. While she was subjected to discrimination in the area when she attended medical school, she said that her white classmates supported her, eating with her at a segregated table in the University dining room and standing with her on buses when blacks were forced to give up seats to white passengers.

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