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Lydia Tura Wright

Born on 5-5-1922. She was born in Shreveport, LA. She was accomplished in the area of Healthcare. She later died on 10-23-2006.
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Lydia Tura Wright was born on May 5, 1922, in Shreveport, Louisiana. While still a child, Lydia and her sister, twin brothers, and mother, Parthenia Hickman Wright, moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, to join her father, Nathan, who was forced to flee Louisiana to escape lynching.

She attended the University of Cincinnati and Fisk University in Nashville. She received her medical degree from Meharry Medical College, also in Nashville. Dr. Wright completed her residency in New York City where she met her husband, Dr. Frank G. Evans. They were married in 1951, and relocated to Buffalo the following year.

Dr. Wright had several notable firsts on her resume. She was the first African American pediatrician and female physician in Buffalo. She also was the first black person appointed to serve on the Buffalo Board of Education, an office she assumed in May 1962. She served a five-year term on the Board, but declined a reappointment in 1967, noting that the education system was moving forward.

In an interview with The Buffalo Challenger newspaper, Dr. Wright recalled her tenure on the school board. She is remembered for her stand, as the lone opponent to the then Board majority's decision to establish a virtually all-black enrollment for Woodlawn Junior High School. ""They drew the attendance lines to segregate the schools,"" she said. Dr. Wright is described in the article as being the ""community's voice during board debates on school racial integration."" In September 2000, the Common Council passed a resolution, sponsored by Council member Charley H. Fisher, to name the future school building proposed at the Kensington Heights site for Dr. Wright. A public hearing to celebrate the naming of the school after Dr. Wright was held on September 25, 2000, at Buffalo City Hall.

Dr. Wright also served on the board of the East Side Community Organization, Inc. (ESCO), the group that brought Saul Alinsky to Buffalo to organize Buffalo's black community. Dr. Wright and ESCO played an important role in bridging the gap between the black and white communities. She also was a member of the Committee for an Urban University in the Downtown Area.

Dr. Wright and her husband were members of St. Philip's Episcopal Church where she served on the Altar Guild. She served on the Race Relations Committee of the Council of Churches and also was the first woman in the United States to be appointed to an Episcopal Bishop's standing committee, by the late Rt. Reverend Lauriston Scaife. Her other firsts include being the first black to receive the coveted Red Jacket Award from the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, the first recipient of the Barber G. Conable Award from the Citizen's Council on Human Relations, and the Pediatrician of the Year Award from the Buffalo Pediatric Society. She also was a recipient of the Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

Dr. Wright was a family historian, having traced her family history to the 11th century, and developed a huge family history chart that proudly displays her lineage. She came from a long line of educators dating back to her grandparents. Her maternal grandmother was a teacher, as was her mother, who graduated from the University of Cincinnati. Her father was a graduate of Tuskegee Institute and her maternal grandfather, Dr. Benjamin Hickman, was one of the first blacks to practice medicine in Cincinnati.

Dr. Wright and her husband have two children: Tamara, an attorney in Los Angeles, and Frank Jr., a local stockbroker, and two grandsons.