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The Aegis
Harford County

Havre de Grace Colored School Museum to honor Harford’s first African American medical officer during Kwanzaa celebration

The Havre de Grace Colored School Museum and Cultural Center will be celebrating the principles of Kwanzaa through sharing the life experiences of George Thomas Stansbury, Harford’s first African American medical officer.

The free event will be held Thursday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and will feature the Stansbury exhibit and museum tours. The event will also have special activities geared towards elementary, middle and high school students.

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Special games, crafts, and giveaways will include a Kahoot game, coloring books, Kwanzaa placemat design, door prizes, raffles and introduction of the Youth Enrichment Society’s Kwanzaa ambassadors.

Stansbury graduated from Havre de Grace Colored School in 1939. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree in 1944 followed by a medical degree from Howard University School of Medicine.

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Stansbury opened his medical practice in the former school building in July 1950 and was the first African American physician to be given full staff privileges at nearby Harford Memorial Hospital, which was then segregated.

“Everybody in the community were thrilled that we were getting a black doctor,” said Rosetta Lee Jones, a Havre de Grace Colored School graduate, in the museum’s video tribute to Stansbury. “His office would stay full from morning to night.”

By 1957, Stansbury was president of the Harford County Medical Society and was the first African American to be appointed city health officer.

Stansbury died in 1996 after serving his community for 45 years. He left this property to his daughter, Sheila Stansbury, who continues to own it.

“Service to the community was, and is, the lasting legacy of the Stansbury family,” Emil Cromwell, a charter member of the Havre de Grace Colored School Museum and Cultural Center, said in the tribute video.

Pre-registration for the event is encouraged: hdgcoloredschool.net/events. The museum is located at 555 Alliance Street.


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