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Tue, 07.08.1873

John Alcindor, Doctor and Activist born

John Alcindor

*John Alcindor was born on this date in 1873.  He was a Black British physician and activist.

John Alcindor was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and educated at Saint Mary's College. After winning one of the four Island Scholarships, he studied medicine at Edinburgh University, Scotland, graduating from there with a medical degree in 1899. He then worked in London hospitals in Plaistow, Hampstead, and Camberwell, going into practice on his own around 1907.

He played cricket as a wicketkeeper for London teams during this period. In 1911, he married Minnie Martin, a white British woman. Refused a place in the Royal Army Medical Corps (because of racism), Alcindor was awarded a Red Cross medal for his work with the wounded at London rail stations during World War I. Alcindor served as senior district medical officer of the London borough of Paddington from 1921 until his death. As a medical officer, he worked under the Poor Law, meaning he could offer free treatment for poor people in their homes. Alcindor was also the secretary of the Poor Law Medical Officers Association. Alcindor published articles on his research on influenza and tuberculosis. He also wrote about the correlation between cancer and poverty, examining the effects of unhealthy surroundings and poor diet.

In the late 1890s, Alcindor associated with Henry Sylvester Williams and his African Association. They were behind the First Pan-African Conference in 1900, which he attended in London as a delegate from the Afro-West Indian Society. At the conference, he met composer Samuel Coleridge‐Taylor and W. E. B. Du Bois, with whom he later developed friendships. He became the second president of the African Progress Union in 1921, succeeding John Archer. He presided on the first day of the 2nd Pan-African Congress in 1921 with Rev. W. H. Jernagin. He spoke at the 3rd Pan-African Congress in 1923. John Alcindor, the great-uncle of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr.), died on October 25, 1924.

To become a doctor

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