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A Black Physician's Struggle for Civil Rights

Edward C. Mazique, M.D.
By Florence Ridlon



This powerful biography traces the career of an African American physician and civil rights advocate, Edward Craig Mazique (1911–1987), from the poverty and discrimination of Natchez, Mississippi, to his status as a prominent physician in Washington, DC. This moving story of one man’s accomplishments, in spite of many opposing forces, is also a chapter in the struggle of African Americans to achieve equality in the twentieth century.

At a time when black people were being denied entry into the American Medical Association and were not permitted to join the staffs of most hospitals, Dr. Mazique was the president of the Medico-Chirurgical Society and the National Medical Association. Dr. Mazique worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr., Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and black physicians to expand the availability of health care. Much of this story is in Dr. Mazique’s own words, taken from interviews with the author. What emerges from this biography is a picture of an exceptional but very human man who, despite discrimination and repression, excelled beyond all expectations.

Contributor Bios
Florence Ridlon received a PhD in sociology from Syracuse University. She was the cofounder of the Jim Thorpe Foundation, which is credited with the return of Thorpe’s Olympic gold medals and records, and she is a technical advisor on the forthcoming movie Bright Path: The Jim Thorpe Story. She and her husband, Bob Wheeler, own the public-relations firm Wheeler/Ridlon Communications.