Blackipedia is a bi-weekly CASSIUS feature that takes a fun approach to exploring Black history, slang, and culture. In May (#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth), we’re honoring Black and brown mental health pioneers. Get ready to learn something—and tell a friend!
Solomon Carter Fuller, M.D.
[sol-uh-muh n kahr-ter foo l-er]
- A pioneer in the world of psychiatry, Dr. Solomon Carter Culler was known for the trailblazing research he did on Alzheimer’s alongside Alois Alzheimer. He was born in Liberia and graduated from the Boston University School of Medicine before working with Alois, who is credited with discovering the disease in 1901. In 1919, Fuller joined the Boston University School of Medicine faculty as a pathology professor.
- “He also helped correctly diagnose and train others to correctly diagnose the side effects of syphilis to prevent black war veterans from getting misdiagnosed, discharged, and ineligible for military benefits,” Black Past adds. “He trained these young doctors at the Veteran’s Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama before the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiments (1932-1972).”
- The APA Black Caucus would introduce the Solomon Carter Fuller Award, with the first lecture being delivered by the lieutenant governor of California in 1975, according to the APA’s Psychiatric News. There is also a community health center named after Fuller in Boston (Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health, pictured above).
- Fuller was known among his peers as a remarkable influence. Charles Pinderhuges M.D., who knew Fuller, once wrote: “This remarkable man on his own initiative achieved excellence in psychiatry and neurology as a clinician, scientist, educator, and scholar at a time when opportunities and recognition. . .were not available to him because of his color.”