The U.S.’s first female African-American psychoanalyst

As she completed this degree, Dr. Lawrence, almost 30 years old, learned that she and her husband, Charles, a sociologist, were expecting their first child. Though they expected to remain in New York, they were discouraged by their job prospects and traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, where Charles was recruited for a teaching job. Dr. Lawrence also found work teaching preventive medicine and pediatrics at Meharry Medical College, the first medical school in the South for African-Americans. She was the only woman on the medical faculty.

A few years later, Dr. Lawrence decided to move back to New York with her family (she and her husband now had three children) to pursue further training in psychiatry. In 1947, she applied for a residency, and in 1948, was the first African-American…

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