Descendants of 1st black US doctor mark NYC grave





NEW YORK -- White descendants of the nation's first professionally trained African-American doctor gathered in a cemetery on Sunday to dedicate a tombstone at the unmarked grave where he was buried in 1865.

"Right now I feel so connected in a new way, to actually be here," said Antoinette Martignoni, the 91-year-old great-granddaughter of James McCune Smith. "I take a deep breath, and I thank God, I really do. I am so glad to have lived this long."

Smith, born in New York City in 1813, wanted to be a doctor but was denied entry to medical schools in the United States. He earned a degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, then returned to New York to practice. Besides being a doctor, he was celebrated in his lifetime as a writer and an anti-slavery leader....


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