Medical Community Remembers Civil Rights Advocate George Evans, MD

Members of the Old North State Medical Society and the Greater Greensboro Society of Medicine considered George Evans, MD, a hero. He died on February 4, 2011, more than four decades after he achieved distinction for his advocacy of civil rights and integration in the Greensboro community.

After earning his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN in 1933, Dr. Evans, MD, married Marguerite Webster. The couple moved to Greensboro, where Dr. Evans delivered more than 3,000 babies during his 47 years in private practice. By 1953, Dr. Evans had joined with other black physicians in the Greensboro community to fight for privileges at the newly opened Moses Cone Memorial Hospital. He worked closely with his friend Alvin V. Blount, Jr, MD, who was instrumental in the 1963 legal case, Simkins v. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, which centered on the integration of hospitals. In a landmark decision, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing physicians of all races to practice in and use hospital facilities, and allow patients to be treated by their own physicians and dentists, regardless of race, in hospitals that received public funding.

Dr. Evans became the first person of color to serve on the Greensboro Housing Authority. He also served on the Greensboro City Board of Education and chaired the Mayor’s Special Committee on Human Rights, when civil rights marches occurred daily in 1963. He and his wife frequently participated in the marches. The medical bag used by Dr. Evans is displayed in the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro.

On Thursday, family, friends and colleagues remembered Dr. Evans in a memorial service held at St. James Presbyterian Church. Among his many honors were NAACP Man of the Year, the Stepping Stone to Freedom Award, and North Carolina A&T University’s Human Rights Medal. Nearly 104 years old, he and Marguerite were married for 76 years and had one son (deceased) and two grandsons.

 
 

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