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BHM Day 19: John Stewart Rock

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John Stewart Rock was one of America’s first black doctors and lawyers.  He is said to have coined the phrase “Black is beautiful” in one of his abolitionist speeches.

He was born to free parents who helped him be educated to become a teacher at 19.  He later went on to study medicine under the guidance of two white doctors.  In 1952 he graduated from the American Medical College in Philadelphia.  He moved to Boston and opened a practice as well as working as a teacher at a night school for African-Americans.

The Vigilance Committee, an abolitionist group, hired him to treat escaped slaves and serve as their educator.

He became one of the first Black lawyers to be admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1861.  And in 1865 he became the first Black lawyer admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court.

Throughout his adult life, he traveled across New England as a speaker for the abolitionist movement and often spoke of the “inherent beauty” of Black people.

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About LoLo (14477 Articles)
Lo Brewer is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she received a BA for her major in Journalism & Media Studies. She started her career in ad sales and corporate training and worked in media for over a decade at Viacom and Fox Networks. But in 2015, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career that revolved around her two greatest passions, writing and crafting. Soon she was writing for several websites as an entertainment, fashion and music expert. She also launched a small business creating felt crafts and Ankara clothing and home goods through Etsy. Lo is a Jersey Girl (in a Cali world), a self-professed pop culture idiot savant, a homebody, a hardcore crafter, a lover of all things retro & vintage, a thrift shopoholic, and an all-around silly MF. In addition to being a celebriologist and DIY demon, she is also a novelist. Her first, The Semester, was published in 2013. She hopes to publish her second book, The Apartment, in the upcoming year.