History find uncovered

From: edequity@phoenix.edc.org
Date: Thu Feb 24 2000 - 11:45:34 EST

In honor of Black history month AND women's history month, let me share
this wonderful find with members of this list.

The Honolulu Star Bulletin reported the virtually forgotten story of
Alice Ball, a young women who discovered the chemical that became the
first effective treatment for leperacy, a virus that plagued the islands
for decades. The story appears in the Friday, February 18, 2000, edition
that is online at http://starbulletin.com/2000/02/18/news/story3.html.
(You may have to access this by going through starbulletin.com, clicking
onto the 2/18/00 edition, then news, then Honor for the Healer.

Alice was part of an African American family that moved to the islands in
the early 1900s from Seattle. Her father was a lawyer and mother a
photographer. J.P. Ball, Alice's grandfather, was a well-known
photographer with studios in Europe as well as the United States.
His work is included in a Smithsonian exhibition on black
photographers that opened this month in Washington, D.C.

I digress.

This story is made all the more interesting because someone else either
was given or took credit for Ball's discovery, and the newspaper article
tells how a federal retiree named Stan Ali made it his mission to give
Ball the credit she deserved.

Sadly, Alice became ill and returned to Seattle where she died at age
24. It's a good read, with a nice photo. Hope people who work with
students can make use of this.
Barbara Tavares
University of Hawaii

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