Black Achievements

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Neglect of Black achievements In response to a recent letter titled “Mis-Education of African Americans,” I would like to share with the writer and the readers the story of Dr. Charles Drew. It’s an example of the neglect of Black achievements. Dr. Charles Drew was an African American blood specialist, surgeon, educator, scientist and civil rights advocate. His pioneering work in blood collection, plasma processing and transfusion laid the foundation for modern blood banking. Dr. Drew discovered that when plasma was separated from blood cells and frozen, it could be stored and used to treat patients for a longer period of time compared to whole blood. He also discovered that while everyone has a certain blood group (A, B, AB, or O); all people have the same type of plasma. In 1940, Dr. Drew was named Director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank in New York City. He participated in the…show more content…
During these years, I have read and reviewed hundreds of general biology textbooks. The topic of blood groups and transfusion is discussed in these books, but with no reference to Charles Drew. General biology textbooks refer to Charles Darwin as the father of evolution, Carolus Linnaeus as the father of taxonomy, and Gregor Mendel as the father of genetics. They should refer to Charles Drew as the father of the blood bank. I learned about Dr. Drew and his achievements from the Internet. Dr. Drew died in 1950 as a result of an automobile crash. Contrary to popular urban legend, Alamance General Hospital in Burlington, N.C., an all-White hospital, did not deny him a blood transfusion. He had a superior vena cava syndrome and blood was blocked getting back to his heart from his brain and upper extremities. To give him a transfusion would have killed him sooner. However, Alamance General Hospital did not have blood for Black
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