Black History Month, or National African American History Month, began in 1976 and has been observed in February by every president in the United States since then. In celebration of Black History Month, students and staff at the Ross Medical Education Center campus in Canton came together to display the influential black leaders that have made an impact on the world. One person that was highlighted by the Dental Assistant class was Georgia’s second female African American dentist, Annie Yarborough. Dr. Yarborough was not the first female African American dentist in Georgia; however, she was the first woman to ever practice dentistry outside of Athens, Georgia.
The Veterinary Assistant class acknowledged the first African American doctors of veterinary medicine to graduate from various veterinary schools. In 1980, after just six years of being open, the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine graduated their first African American Doctors of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Margie Lee and Dr. Lynn Hoban. Today, Dr. Lynn Hoban owns her own practice, Friendship Pet Hospital in Fountain Hills, Arizona. At the Kansas State Agricultural College, the first African American Veterinarian, John William Brown, graduated in 1912.
In addition to the first African American graduates, the Veterinary Assistant class acknowledged individuals that played a prominent role in the development of veterinary programs, specifically at Tuskegee University. The program was implemented as a discipline in the Department of Agriculture in 1896 at the university. However, this veterinary program would not have been possible at Tuskegee University if Dr. Booker T. Washington had not founded Tuskegee University in 1881. So, because of Booker T. Washington’s determination and effort to help other African Americans achieve their education, he also built the foundation for many African Americans to become veterinarians. To quote one of his famous lines, “success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”