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African American Women Chemists$
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Jeannette Brown

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199742882

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199742882.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

My Story

My Story

(p.157) Chapter 9 My Story
African American Women Chemists

Jeannette Brown

Oxford University Press

Jeannette Brown’s career has included accomplishments in industry, academia, and publishing. Her claim to fame is working in two different pharmaceutical firms, where she was able to contribute her skill to the research teams who produced several marketable drugs. She was also able to mentor minorities to encourage them to enter the field of chemistry, both as part of a corporate effort and as a volunteer. Jeannette Brown was born May 13, 1934, in Fordham Hospital in the Bronx, New York. She was the only child of Ada May Fox and Freddie Brown. She was born in the middle of the Depression, and times were tough. Her father worked a number of jobs in order to feed his family, including shining shoes on the street. Finally, when Jeannette was five, her father got a job as a superintendent in a building in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. This section of Manhattan was just becoming a home for middle-class blacks moving up from Harlem. Since her father was a super, he had a basement apartment in the building. One of the tenants in the house was Dr. Arthur Logan, who became Jeannette’s doctor when she became very ill. Jeannette was in and out of the hospital many times, and she remembers asking Dr. Logan how she could become a doctor. He told her that she would have to study science. Jeannette was only five or six at the time, but that conversation impressed her and she immediately decided to become a scientist. When Jeannette started school at the age of six, she went to the neighborhood public school, which all children did at the time. The children in the school were mostly black, and some of them taunted her because she was interested in being a good student. Her father decided that the only way that she was going to get a good education was for him to try to get a job as a superintendent in a white neighborhood so that Jeannette could go to the mostly white schools.

Keywords:   CIBA Pharmaceuticals, Hunter College, Iota Sigma Pi, Merck

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