physician (1855 - 1925)

She attended Berea College between 1871 and 1874 and then became the first African- American women to practice as a physician in Lexington, Kentucky. Berea College originally accepted students from all races. In 1904 the school became all white when interracial education became illegal in Kentucky. Today the school once again accepts all races. She won notoriety for a powerful speech in 1893 against a bill for segregated seating in railroad coaches that was before the state legislature. The speech inspired the great author Paul Laurence Dunbar to write a poem entitled, "To Miss Mary Britton," which includes the following lines:

Give us to lead our cause
More noble souls like hers,
The memory of whose deed
Each feeling bosom stirs;
Whose fearless voice and strong
Rose to defend her race,
Roused Justice from her sleep,
Drove Prejudice from place.

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