Beulah Wright Porter

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Beulah Wright Porter (b. 1869) was an educator, physician, and an active participant in the African American women's club movement in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the early twentieth century. When Porter established a medical practice in Indianapolis in 1897, she became the first African American woman physician in the city with her own practice.[1] However, Porter left her medical practice in 1901 and became a principal of a public school in Indianapolis in 1905.[2] In addition, Porter combined her medical knowledge in conjunction with her involvement in the city's women's club movement. As a co-founder of the Woman's Improvement Club (WIC) of Indianapolis with Lillian Thomas Fox in 1903, Porter used her medical expertise contributed to the early work of the Indianapolis charitable organization whose goal was to combat tuberculosis.[3][4] The WIC began as a literary club and with a goal of self-improvement to combat medical needs of African Americans, including training nurses.[5] In 1905, Fox, Porter, Ida Webb Bryant and members of the WIC established a tuberculosis camp to treat infected African American children.[6] Porter was active in other local clubs, including the Grand Body of the Sisters of Charity, and a local chapter of the NAACP.[7]


  1. ^ The Staff of the Indiana Magazine of History (March 12, 2012). "Above And Beyond: Lillian Thomas Fox & Beulah Wright Porter".
  2. ^ David J. Bodenhamer and Robert G. Barrows, eds. (1994). The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. p. 222. ISBN 0253312221.
  3. ^ Linda C. Gugin and James E. St. Clair, eds. (2015). Indiana's 200: The People Who Shaped the Hoosier State. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-87195-387-2.
  4. ^ Earline Rae Ferguson (September 1988). "The Woman's Improvement Club of Indianapolis: Black Women Pioneers in Tuberculosis Work, 1903-1938". Indiana Magazine of History. Bloomington: Indiana University. 84 (3): 240. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  5. ^ Thornbrough, Emma Lou (2000). Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century. Indiana University Press. p. 21. ISBN 0253337992.
  6. ^ Bodenhamer, David J; Barrows, Robert G., eds. (1994). The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. p. 1438. ISBN 0253312221.
  7. ^ Ferguson, p. 252.