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*Louise Cecelia Fleming was born on this date in 1862. She was a Black medical missionary.
From Hibernia Clay County, Florida she was born a slave and was nicknamed LuLu. She attended Shaw University, graduating as class valedictorian in 1885. Fleming was the first Black woman to be commissioned for work in Africa by the Woman's American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society. Two years later Fleming left America, stopped in Europe and then began working as a missionary for five years in Palabala, Congo (now Zaire).
She taught in the primary and upper English classes Fleming returned to the US in 1891 and began medical school. She graduated from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1895. On October of that year she left again for Africa, this time in Irebu in the upper Congo. In 1898 Dr. Fleming was stricken with a disease known as the African sleeping sickness.
Reluctantly returning to the United States Louise Fleming died on June 20, 1899.
Black Women in America An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York