Vibrant Lives. Vibrant Stories.
Dr. George Edward Blackman 1922 - 1986

This biography was originally released on August 15, 2022 as a part of our on going series titled: Vibrant Lives. Vibrant Stories.
Written by Madison Matthews on the Staff of The Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission

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Dr. George Edward Blackman was born February 7, 1922 in Charlotte, NC. He attended Johnson C. Smith University and graduated in 1941. Blackman then went on to attend Howard University Medical School where he graduated from in 1944. He also studied at the University of Pennsylvania and received a graduate degree in the Graduate School of Surgery in 1953. In 1954 he moved to Buffalo, where he continued his education at Roswell Park Memorial Institute. 
 

Starting in 1958, Dr. Blackman practiced medicine on Michigan Avenue. Over his career,  Dr. Blackman became the former chief of colon and rectal surgery at Roswell. He was also a founder of the Buffalo Negro Scholarship Fund; as well as a former member of the Buffalo Urban Renewal Board, a medical examiner for the Buffalo Civil Service Commission.  Blackman was also a medical director of the Nash Health Center and a prominent physician. In addition to this, he was the first African American to ever be elected to the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Blackman was also heavily involved in the community. He worked with the Buffalo Board of Education in the 1960s, becoming the first African American to be elected president of the appointed board in 1970. Blackman left the board in 1974 after the conversion to elected office, but returned a few short years later when he won  the election to the Ferry District seat in 1978. Dr. Blackman was also heavily involved in the Buffalo Urban League, being appointed in 1961, becoming chair in 1971.


Throughout his life, Dr. Blackman received many honors and awards for all his accomplishments. Some of his honors were the National Conference of Christians and Jews Brotherhood Award, leadership of the Western New York Medical Society, the Buffalo Urban League, and the Jesse E. Nash Community Health Center. One of Dr. Blackman’s most credible award was the Urban League’s Evans-Young Award for “dedication to the causes of human dignity, equal opportunity and total community understanding”.

Dr. Blackman died in 1986 after his health declined following an assault and robbery that took place in his medical offices. He left behind his wife, Bettey, and his son, George Jr. 

Thank you to our sources:

We want to give a special thanks to Uncrowned Community Builders for providing the information for this story. Further readings on Dr. George Edward Blackman are available on their websites.

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