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PHOTO ESSAY

African Descendants in New Orleans: A Visual History

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Chief Surgeon, performing surgery at Flint-Goodridge Hospital (Dillard University)

Arthur P. Bedou, Dr. Rivers Frederick, Chief Surgeon, performing surgery at Flint-Goodridge Hospital (Dillard University), c. 1932, Amistad Research Center

Dr. Rivers Frederick (1874–1954), a well-known, Louisiana-born physician, was chief surgeon at Flint Medical College in New Orleans from 1904 through 1907, then at Sarah Goodridge Hospital in the same city. After the merging of both hospitals, he taught post-graduate courses at the newly-established Flint-Goodridge Hispital. Dr. Frederick had previously served as chief surgeon at a government hospital in Honduras from 1901 through 1904, and from 1913 through 1932 also worked as a surgeon for Southern Pacific Railroad. In addition to his work as surgeon, he served as an active member of the NAACP, served on a mayoral Advisory Committee on Race Relations in New Orleans, and advocated an improved healthcare system for African Americans. Dillard University, an historically African American institution, was formed in New Orleans in 1930 by the merging of Straight College and New Orleans University. Although primarily a liberal arts-focused institution, the university had also maintained a focus on teaching and nursing, and administered Flint-Goodridge Hospital. Flint-Goodridge, operated by Dillard until 1983, played a pivotal role in the training of African American physicians in the twentieth century. The hospital's establishment dates back to October 1896, when a group of African American women, known as The Phyllis Wheatley Club, formally established an institution that they initially named The Phyllis Wheatley Sanitarium and Training School for Negro Nurses.

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