“When I saw colored women doing all the work in cases of accouchement [childbirth], and all the fee going to some white doctor who merely looked on, I asked myself why should I not get the fee myself. — Dr. Eliza Ann Grier

Dr. Eliza Ann Grier, an emancipated slave, was the first black woman licensed to practice medicine in Georgia. According to the National Library of Medicine, it took Grier seven years to complete her medical studies because she alternated years picking cotton to pay for school. “Some of the best white doctors in the city have welcomed me, and say that they will give me an even chance in the profession,” she said, per the NLM. “That is all I ask.”

The next time I start to feel sorry for myself, I will remember this woman’s story. My obstacles are pebbles compared with what she overcame.

What steel. What purpose. What a gutsy broad.

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