Did you know the first black woman to receive a medical degree in Louisiana was born and raised in New Iberia? Did you know that Iberia Parish was the birthplace and/or home of more than 20 black medical profressionals between the eras of reconstruction and Jim Crow? And, in 1944, did you know that New Iberia lost all three of its black physicians and one dentist within a day of each other due to Jim Crow violence and intimidation?
The history of black physicians of Iberia Parish has been hidden and ignored for more than 70 years. While conducting other research, Phebe A. Hayes Ph.D. noticed a book recognizing the contributions of “white” physicians but the book clearly omitted any knowledge of black doctors known to be contributing to the health of area residents during the same time period.