On today’s episode of 28 Days of Black Excellence we feature Dr. Percy Lavon Julian. Despite considerable persecution due to segregation and racism throughout his life, Percy Julian became a steroid chemist and an entrepreneur who ingeniously figured out how to synthesize important medicinal compounds from abundant plant sources, making them more affordable to mass-produce. Our musical pairing is “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen,” traditional Negro Spiritual, setting by Henry Thacker Burleigh.
Dr. Percy Lavon Julian (1899-1975)
Notable Achievements: Graduated first in his class from DePauw University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and earned master’s degree in chemistry from Harvard University; awarded Ph.D. from the University of Vienna; received the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP; founder of Julian Laboratories; elected to the National Academy of Sciences; U.S. Postal Service stamp in his honor; recognized as a National Landmark by the American Chemical Society.
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