Patricia Bath Biography Inventor, Doctor, Educator (1942–) – Black History

patricia Bath

Among many firsts, Patricia Bath is the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology and the first African-American female doctor to receive a medical patent. She invented the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment in 1986.

Synopsis

Born in Harlem, New York, on November 4, 1942, Patricia Bath became the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology in 1973. Two years later, she became the first female faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute. In 1976, Bath co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, which established that “eyesight is a basic human right.” In 1986, Bath invented the Laserphaco Probe, improving treatment for cataract patients. She patented the device in 1988, becoming the first African-American female doctor to receive a medical patent.

Early Life

Patricia Era Bath was born on November 4, 1942, in Harlem, New York, to Rupert Bath, the first black motorman for the New York City subway system, and Gladys Bath, a housewife and domestic worker who used her salary to save money for her children’s education. Bath was encouraged by her family to pursue academic interests. Her father, a former Merchant Marine and an occasional newspaper columnist, taught Bath about the wonders of travel and the value of exploring new cultures. Her mother piqued the young girl’s interest in science by buying her a chemistry set.

After graduating from high school in only two years, Bath headed to Hunter College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1964. She then attended Howard University to pursue a medical degree. Bath graduated with honors from Howard in 1968, and accepted an internship at Harlem Hospital shortly afterward. The following year, she also began pursuing a fellowship in ophthalmology at Columbia University. Through her studies there, she discovered that African Americans were twice more likely to suffer from blindness than other patients to which she attended, and eight times more likely to develop glaucoma. Her research led to her development of a community ophthalmology system, which increased the amount of eye care given to those who were unable to afford treatment.

Pioneer in Ophthalmology

In 1973, Patricia Bath became the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology. She moved to California the following year to work as an assistant professor of surgery at both Charles R. Drew University and the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1975, she became the first female faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute.

In 1976, Bath co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, which established that “eyesight is a basic human right.” By 1983, Bath had helped create the Ophthalmology Residency Training program at UCLA-Drew, which she also chaired—becoming, in addition to her other firsts, the first woman in the nation to hold such a position.

Inventing the Laserphaco Probe

In 1981, Bath began working on her most well-known invention: the Laserphaco Probe (1986). Harnessing laser technology, the device created a less painful and more precise treatment of cataracts. She received a patent for the device in 1988, becoming the first African-American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. (She also holds patents in Japan, Canada and Europe.) With her Laserphaco Probe, Bath was able to help restore the sight of individuals who had been blind for more than 30 years.

In 1993, Bath retired from her position at the UCLA Medical Center and became an honorary member of its medical staff. That same year, she was named a “Howard University Pioneer in Academic Medicine.”

Among her many roles in the medical field, Bath is a strong advocate of telemedicine, which uses technology to provide medical services in remote areas.

 

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Please, Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

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I wrote a post a while back regarding comparing yourself to others. And since February is the month of love I am only saying this once again in the name of LOVE. Please, stop comparing yourself to others and start loving yourself. As I went onto the internet to research something, the following popped up in my feed “Atlanta Housewife Kim Zolciak’s Lip Explodes – Can barely TALK!” I must admit, I almost choked on my coffee and then shook my head in unbelief. Not that I couldn’t believe her lips exploded, but that she continued to get her lips injected so much so that they would explode.  This woman has teen daughters who I am sure are following in her footsteps and are most likely also getting plastic surgery.

 I am not knocking anyone who wants to enhance their looks or body parts to make themselves feel better about themselves, but at what cost and how far is too far? There are other more healthy ways to enhance your face and body; like lip plumping lip gloss, push-up bras, exercise, and proper diet. You have women getting breast implants, butt implants, lip injections and so many other types of injections done to their bodies. Some going to other countries for a cheaper rate not knowing what is being injected into their bodies, all in the name of looking like someone else or to feel good about themselves, until they end up looking nothing like themselves or something like this happens.  And it is not just women doing this. Men are having ribs removed to get a six pack or to make their bodies look tighter and more in shape, as well as plastic surgery to look younger.   

What you see in the magazines and videos is not what those people actually look like. They are mostly airbrushed. Heck, there are even infomercials selling airbrushed makeup to make you think you are getting that same look like those women you admire in those magazines, videos, and movies. I do not understand who would want to be chopped up and sewed back together just to fit someone else’s ideal of beauty. Please, stop comparing yourself to these make-believe images being presented in the media and throughout the internet.

 Instead, focuses on being the best that you can be with the attributes you were given. Take good care of yourself and you will look just as beautiful as you feel. Think young and you will be young. It is all in your mindset. When you think of yourself as old then, of course, you will start to look old, dress old and act old. Stop being so serious and focused on your age and let loose and just enjoy your life and what is left of it.

As women our bodies go through a lot as we get older, we change with menopause and not to mention those of us that have had children. Yet, our bodies were designed to withstand all the things we go through. So why not embrace your new curves, your new little pouch, those little lines around your eyes and mouth. All it is showing the world is that you have lived life, gave life and you survived it all, which only makes you not only stronger and wiser but much more beautiful than you can ever imagine.

LOVE YOURSELF!

   

Spreading Love

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Today is Valentine’s Day—a great reason for letting you know how much I appreciate you. Hope your day is filled with family, friends and happy moments that become favorite memories.

Enjoy the day!

For Those Who Walk Alone

 

 

Henry “Box” Brown

henry-brown-portrait-1 I discovered this story about Henry “Box” Brown, who after his family was sold off to another slave owner, came up with a innovative, yet creative idea and mailed himself to a free state to escape forever.

Henry “Box” Brown was a man that had everything torn from him. But in a fateful vision, he saw that the road to his salvation was through a small box. With the aid of his allies, Brown would defy the odds and embark on a harrowing journey toward freedom.

Born A Slave

Henry Box Brown was born in 1815 in Louisa County, Virginia. He spent his early years at the Hermitage, a plantation about ten miles from Yanceyville in Louisa County. He lived with his parents, his four brothers, and his three sisters. His owner was John Barret, the former mayor of Richmond, Virginia.

When John Barret was on his deathbed, he sent for Henry Brown and his mother. Believing that their family was going to be freed, the pair came to their owner with, “beating hearts and elated feelings.” Barret’s son had also freed forty of his own slaves several years earlier. However, Barret informed them that they were being allotted to his son, William Barret, and that they should be obedient to their master.

Barret had ensured that William promise that he treat the Browns with kindness. But what Barret critically ignored is that he was splitting up the Brown family, as they were divvied up among the four Barret sons.

Brown’s mother and sister were part of William’s inheritance, but Brown was sent to work in a tobacco factory in Richmond at the age of fifteen. That sister, Martha Brown, eventually became William Barret’s mistress.

“Promised faithfully that he would not sell her, and pretended to entertain an extreme horror of separating families.”

Thus in 1836, Brown and Nancy became husband and wife in Richmond, Virginia. They eventually produced three children and joined the First African Baptist Church. Henry even joined the church choir. He became a skilled tobacco worker and earned enough money to rent a home.

But in August of 1848, Mr. Leigh reneged on his word and sold Nancy and their three children to another slave owner in North Carolina. Brown was not told about what Mr. Leigh had done until it was far too late. He recalled the event later:

“I had not been many hours at my work, when I was informed that my wife and children were taken from their home, sent to the auction mart and sold, and then lay in prison ready to start away the next day for North Carolina with the man who had purchased them. I cannot express, in language, what were my feelings on this occasion.”

Pregnant Nancy and his three children were part of a group of three hundred and fifty slaves that had been sold to a slave-trading Methodist minister. Brown begged his master to help. His owner coldly repeated to Brown, “You can get another wife.” He never saw his wife and children again.

The Daring Escape Of Henry Box Brownhenry-box-brown-revelation

After mourning the loss of his family for several months, Henry Box Brown came to a decision: he was going to be free. Brown stumbled on an escape plan when he was engaged in prayer. Henry said, “The idea suddenly flashed across my mind of shutting myself up in a box, and getting myself conveyed as dry goods to a free state.”

He immediately secured the help of a freed black man and a member of his choir. A white shoemaker named Samuel Smith was also was instrumental in his dangerous journey. (Ironically, Smith himself owned slaves.) Smith was paid for his services and put Brown in contact with James Miller McKim, a Philadelphia leader of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society who was involved in Underground Railroad activities.

Brown hired a carpenter to construct the box, which was 3 feet long, 2 feet wide, 2.5 feet deep, and lined with a coarse woolen cloth. It had just three small air holes near where his face would be that would allow him to breathe. A prominent sign was attached that read “This Side Up With Care.” Once inside the box, Henry would be unable to shift his position.

On March 23th, 1849, Henry Box Brown slipped inside this claustrophobic box to be shipped across states. Within hours of the shipment, the box was placed upside down. The box would continuously switch positions, but in one harrowing instance, it almost killed him. Brown recounted his terrifying experience:

“I felt my eyes swelling as if they would burst from their sockets; and the veins on my temples were dreadfully distended with pressure of blood upon my head. In this position I attempted to lift my hand to my face but I had no power to move it; I felt a cold sweat coming over me which seemed to be a warning that death was about to terminate my earthly miseries.”

Henry Box Brown endured twenty-seven hours of this confinement, and he arrived on March 24th, 1849. When the box was opened, he tried to stand and lost consciousness. When he eventually regained consciousness, he sang his own version of Psalm 40: “I waited patiently, I waited patiently for the Lord, for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my calling.”

Library Of Congress published around 1850

 

 

L.O.V.E

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Everyone wants to be loved. We know that love can heal. Love inspires. Love picks you up, puts a smile on your face, and a tingling feeling up and down your spine! We search for love. We wait for it. Some of us are willing to do almost anything to get it. We give up on love, then we give in to love, we find ourselves reaching and groping for the security we believe love will provide for us.

But do you love yourself? Are you in harmony with the whole you? Do you treat yourself with respect? Are you generous, kind, and supportive of you? Do you trust yourself and treat yourself as though you can be trusted? Do you accept your weaknesses and celebrate your success? Do you radiate love, or are you just looking to find love and get love?

You will never find the love you are or the love you believe someone else has to give you. Not until you love who you are, and not just say it, but do it and believe it.

 

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

A Spiritual Feast

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Picture this; you’re sitting at a beautiful banquet table, covered with all of your favorite foods. Imagine the sight! The smell! Here you are anticipating the pleasure of sinking your teeth into all of your favorite foods, which have been prepared to perfection. Now imagine as you finish one delight, a well-mannered, neatly dressed server brings you the next. This continues until you are filled to capacity and thrilled to ecstasy. Then you push yourself from the table totally satisfied and grateful. Are you aware that your spirit needs to be fed? I bet your spirit would be delighted to partake in a feast of spiritual food. How about a plate full of prayer, or a few hours of succulent self-reflection? Maybe a scroll of piping-hot spiritual literature, served under a luscious green tree would satisfy your spiritual hunger.  Can you imagine also being able to feast for a few hours on spiritually uplifting music? What about a little bit of forgiven à la mode, topped with compassion? You just can’t imagine how much your spirit would enjoy it.

Can you believe there are many eager angels, guardians and guides just waiting to serve you?  They have already set the table and begun to prepare everything you need to satisfy your spirit. Need some help? Then look under the appetizers. Want some more understanding? Just check the daily specials. If wisdom or scrumptious security would fill you up, then try the Chef’s Specials. It’s all there on life’s spiritual menu. All you have to do is simply raise your head, your heart or your hand and ask. Just like the body the spirit must be fed. Your spirit not only requires a well-balanced diet, it must be fed on a regular schedule.

Maybe you’ve believed your spirit could survive on small bits of information. Why not try preparing a spiritual banquet for yourself? Just take a moment to identify all the things that would full-fill your spirit, and then ask the angels to serve it up.

 

 

BALANCING ACT

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Aiming to be “the best” sounds like such an honorable goal, doesn’t it? But being the best requires great sacrifice, necessitating that we enslave other aspects of ourselves in order to focus on our high-reaching goal. If we aren’t careful trying to become the best writer, technician, project lead, salesman, or executive can mean years of our personal relationships and other areas of interest and concern to be placed to a relegated status in our lives. Can we really afford to wait till we’ve reached our “best” before we carry out our other wants and needs?  What good is being the best if it causes you to neglect those things that should truly matter in life, such as your family, your health and most importantly your peace-of-mind?

Maybe we need to do some rethinking on what it means to be the best. Doing our best may not win the kind of recognition and superstardom that being the best seems to honor, but it means we have at least recognized our quality of being and sought to balance all our life goals. Just that alone is a defeat within itself.

Take a few moments each day to write down and appreciate the good things about yourself.  

What About Your Friends?

friends3Being a good friend is a skill we must learn and improve upon.

1. You must like yourself

Before we can have a good relationship with our friends we must have a good relationshp with ourselves.  When we genuinely like ourselves, we become more attractive to other people. We can be more authentic, which allows us to have more to offer others because we are not constantly focused on our own image and reputation. 

2. Choose carefully

Being a true friend takes time and energy.  We must choose carefully those of who we wish to create a closer bond with. I am very selective about who I consider a friend, and that is because if I am your friend I am your friend for life. I have friends I have known for many years, some I met in my teen years and others in my adult life, and although we may not see each other regularly when we do get together we just pick up where we left off. That is true friendship. Not all of your acquaintances will make the title of friend, which is okay.  Because having a true connection should be far more important than having a large guest list. 

3. Make the time

I consider myself to be a very good friend, but when it comes to making time for folks I can truly use some improvement in this area.  I can get so wrapped up into whatever I may have going on in my life that sometimes I put off spending time with my friends. Our friends are important in many ways–so much so that these relationships often take on a life of their own. You owe it to yourself (and to your friends) to make these relationships a priority. let this be the year we start carving out some quality time for one another.

4. Do unto others

We must treat our friends as we wish to be treated. Another way to put it: “If you want to have a friend, then be a friend.” You must be more focused on being interested rather than being interesting. You must be excited for them rather than envious of them and you must never gossip or be critical toward your friends.

5. It’s the little things that counts

Don’t make everything all about you. Make your friends feel significant and remember when they were there for you. Notice any changes they may have made to their appearance. Ask them how they’re doing. Ask how their family’s doing. Send a card, or an email when you know they may need it most.

6. Be a good listener

Take time to really listen. I had a friend who would always over talk me. She would talk and talk and talk and never let you get a word in. It was so annoying! She would ask me a question, yet never allow me to respond. When we do not listen miscommunication can take place. We can both walk away thinking the other understood when in reality they didn’t. To be a good listener and to be sure you are understanding the other person I suggest repeating what was said to be sure you fully understood and ask questions to understand their point of view.  Also before giving advice ask permission because it could backfire when all your friend wanted was to vent.

7. Loyalty

We all need someone in our corner. If your friend isn’t there to defend her/himself against gossip or criticism, speak up, and be confident in knowing she/he would do the same for you. 

 

 

 

 

Team Work Makes The Dream Work

If we all were to work together as if we were a team we can make his dream manifest.

martin luther king jr. 1

 

 

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