July 2, 2008

Dr. Ethelene Jones Crockett Distinguished Alumni Award

My maternal grandmother, Ethelene Jones Crockett, was born in 1914 in St. Joseph, Michigan and grew up in Jackson, Michigan. She attended Jackson Junior College and graduated from University of Michigan. She married George Crockett, Jr. who was an accomplished lawyer, judge and congressman in his own right, and they had three children (including my Mom!) before she decided to attend medical school at Howard University in 1942.

Grandmother Crockett served her medical internship at Detroit Receiving Hospital but completed her residency in a New York City hospital because no Detroit hospital would accept an African American woman. She became the first Black female Ob/Gyn in the state of Michigan in 1952.

She retired from active practice in 1972. In 1978 she became the first woman president of the American Lung Association. Unfortunately, she died later that same year.

My grandmother was larger than life. I loved her very much. It would tickle her to know that her junior college created an alumni award in her name. The Dr. Ethelene Jones Crockett Distinguished Alumni Award is awarded annually by Jackson Community College. Leonard Griehs won the award this year. Mr. Griehs is vice president of investor relations at Campbell Soup Company.

I just wanted to use this post to express gratitude to JCC for creating this award and to Mr. Griehs for winning it this year. Use this post as your reminder to give your Mom or Grandmother a call! Tomorrow is not promised to any of us...


Iya said...

Mom was the fist Black FEMALE OB-GYN licensed in Michigan.

So proud of her!

Villager said...

Iya - Correction made in the post! Out of curiousity, do you know who the first MALE Ob/Gyn was in Michigan?

peace, Omo

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...



What an amazing tribute!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Villager said...

Lisa - Sometimes we have to give props to our own. We won't see these types of articles or this type of information spread through the mainstream media ... so it is up to us to place the record out there for posterity...

Iya said...

The first Black male physician licensed as OB-GYN was William Goins, M.D. He lived in the next block and was "Uncle Bill" to us kids.

Villager said...

Iya - It make take a few months, but you answer every question put to you! (smile)

DNLee said...

That is so awesome. Congrats to you and your family, must be proud.

Villager said...

Danielle - Yes, both of my grandmothers were remarkable in their own ways. I was very much amazed by the way that my grandmother was able to balance being a 'superwoman' in her career; a wife to a man who was remarkable in his own right; and a tremendous mother ... then grandmother.

I'm just sad that my 3 children never had a chance to meet her in person.