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James McCune Smith was the first African-American to earn a medical degree and to open his own pharmacy in the United States. An author and abolitionist, he was a close friend of Frederick Douglass, writing a part of his first autobiography. It was Smith’s mission to publicly measure race as something social, not biological.

http://www.blackamericaweb.com/?q=articles/news/the_black_diaspora_news/22339

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