Texas Black History Preservation Project
Documenting the Complete African American Experience in Texas -- "Know your history, know yourself"
A digital exhibit courtesy of the Texas Medical Association
      The Lone Star State Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association was established on Aug. 25,
1886 as only the second medical professionals organization for African-Americans in the U.S. Shut out
from admission to the
Texas Medical Association, locally, and the American Medical Association,
nationally, because of their race, 15 prominent black physicians and pharmacists met in Galveston to
establish their own statewide group.
      In commemoration, the TBHPP is proud to present this digital exhibit, courtesy of the TMA,
recording the path of black doctors, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists who served the state's African-
American community and were advocates for improving their health concerns.  
      The 2010 exhibit, curated by TMA Knowledge Center archivist and exhibits coordinator Betsy
Tyson, is the first-ever statewide effort to chronicle early African-American physicians in Texas and was
initially displayed at the TMA History of Medicine gallery.
      The exhibit highlights the struggles of early African-American physicians in Texas and follows the
history of pioneers such as Quinton Belvedre Neal, the first African-American to practice medicine in
Texas in 1882 in Goliad, and Frank Bryant Jr., the first African-American to serve on TMA's governing
body, the House of Delegates, in 1983. Some were born slaves, such as Franklin R. Robey, MD, of
Houston and some were the children of slaves, such as
George M. Munchus, MD, of Fort Worth.
      Maps, vintage images, and artifacts from the TMA archives and a time line traces key events
starting in 1837 and continuing until 2009 when TMA elected its first African-American president, William
H. Fleming III, MD, a Houston neurologist. Dr. Fleming worked with TMA staff to develop the title concept  
for the exhibit and credits the pioneer African-American physicians with laying the groundwork for later
      "I stand on the shoulders of the African-American physicians who came before me, like Dr. Frank
Bryant," Dr. Fleming said. "The stories of brave doctors in this exhibit fill me with humility and pride. But
there is more to do. I hope these stories inspire more young African-American men and women to go
into medicine."
      Under Jim Crow laws in the South, African-Americans could only attend medical schools established
specifically for black students such as
Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Meharry Medical
College in Nashville. Hospitals also were segregated by law and custom.
      Segregation had a profound impact on the health of minorities in the South. In 1900, the rate of
tuberculosis mortality among African-Americans was three times greater than among whites.
      The TMA exhibit is the first-ever statewide effort to chronicle early African-American physicians in
Texas and includes:

  • A Texas map identifying cities with African-American physician practices in 1890, 1914, and 1954,
    depicting the movement from East to West Texas and from rural to more urban centers.
  • A photograph of the Lone Star State Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association annual
    meeting in Houston in 1909, the only known image of Mary Susan Moore, MD, of Galveston, the
    first-African American woman to practice medicine in Texas.
  • Images of black hospitals established as part of the national Black Hospital Movement, such as
    Hammond Hospital established in 1916 in Bryan, Houston Negro Hospital established in 1926, and
    Dickey Clinic established in 1935 in Taylor.
  • Images of the first African-Americans to graduate from Texas medical schools beginning with
    Herman Aladdin Barnett, III, MD, a 1953 graduate of The University of Texas Medical Branch in
    Galveston (Barnett was the school's first black medical student), and others in leadership roles for
    TMA and Texas medicine.
  • Images and biographies reflecting the courage and determination of more than 60 physicians
    from all regions of the state.

      In 2013, the
Texas Medical Board reported 2,570 black physicians out of 53,235 total physicians in
      The TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing nearly 45,000 physicians
and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 120 component county medical societies
around the state. The TMA's key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.
Members of the Lone Star State Medical, Dental, and
Pharmaceutical Association meeting in Houston, 1909
A History of Black Physicians in Texas
Dr. Monroe Alpheus Majors, of Waco
was the first black Texas native to obtain
a medical degree (1886,  Meharry
Medical College)
First African-American president of the
Texas Medical Association (2009).