More than six many years after Marion Hood was rejected by Emory University’s School of Medicine, he acquired one other letter from the varsity. This time, it was an apology for refusing to admit him into its medical program as a result of he was Black.
“Your rejection letter serves as a somber reminder that generations of talented young men and women were denied educational opportunities because of their race, and our society was denied their full potential,” stated the letter, which was despatched in March and signed by Vikas P. Sukhatme, dean of the Emory University School of Medicine. “An apology does not undo our actions. It is an acknowledgment of the pain that was caused by our school, and an opportunity for us to share our regret directly with you.”
As a part of its Juneteenth programming, Emory’s School of Medicine on Thursday apologized to Dr. Hood, now 83, at a digital occasion for college kids, college and workers members.
“In 1959, Marion Hood received a letter of rejection for no other reason than the fact that he was Black. To those who understand the history of our country that should not be a surprise,” the college’s president, Gregory L. Fenves, stated on the occasion. “This one individual and this one letter vividly shows the systematic injustice of that time and the legacy Emory is still reckoning with.”
Dr. Hood determined to pursue drugs when he was about seven or 9 years outdated, after accompanying his mom, who was a nurse, to the physician.
At the occasion on Thursday, he informed the story of how they had been ushered into the follow by way of the again door of the constructing and waited in a room that had no furnishings, solely Coca-Cola crates to sit on. They waited till the final individual was seen, then the physician noticed Dr. Hood’s mom.
“I was fuming,” Dr. Hood stated. “I said to myself that if I was a physician, my mother and my kind would not have to go in through the back door, or wait that long just to be seen.”
Dr. Hood ultimately went on to examine drugs at Loyola University in Chicago and has had a protracted follow as a gynecologist and obstetrician in Atlanta.
He determined to apply to Emory after he graduated from Clark College, now often known as Clark Atlanta University. During his commencement ceremony, Clark, a traditionally Black college, awarded an honorary diploma to an Emory University professor.
Emory was but to be desegregated, and wouldn’t accept its first Black student until 1963.
“I thought, he can come to my school and get an honorary degree and I can’t put my foot on his campus,” Dr. Hood stated. “I didn’t think that was quite right.”
He had already utilized to Howard University and the Meharry School of Medicine in Nashville, after which determined to apply to Emory. Per week later, on Aug. 5, 1959, he acquired a letter signed by the director of admissions on the time saying he was rejected.
“I am sorry I must write you that we are not authorized to consider for admission a member of the Negro race,” stated the letter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “I regret that we cannot help you.”
In figuring out how to apologize to Dr. Hood, Emory provided him an honorary diploma. He informed faculty officers he didn’t want a level anymore however the alternative to inform his story to marginalized college students appealed to him.
Dr. Hood stated in an interview on Friday that it was essential for individuals to know that, though he did get accepted to medical faculty ultimately, he nonetheless confronted discrimination.
He nonetheless has the rejection letter framed in his basement the place solely buddies can see it.
He used to have it in his workplace, the place he would use it as a reminder to new medical college students about “how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go, and how the cycle repeats itself.”