Horace L. Jefferson
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Horace L. Jefferson


Private Practice

Horace L. Jefferson

Dr. Horace Jefferson was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 10, 1924, the second child of John Lee and Mattie Louis Jefferson. A 1943 graduate of Cass Technical High School, he entered the Army after having worked at Ford Motor Company for almost six months and served until mid-1946.

When he returned to Detroit, he entered Highland Park Junior College's two-year pre-dentistry program, then transferred to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in Ann Arbor in 1948. At the same time, he began working for the Lincoln Motor Car Company, a job he maintained throughout his dental training.

Dr. Jefferson graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1952. Dr. Jefferson began practicing in Detroit, filling in for Dr. James A. A. Catchings while he was serving in the military from early 1953 until late 1954.

He opened his own private general practice and also became the senior dentist, part-time, at Herman Kiefer Hospital in 1954. He served at Herman Kiefer until 1970.

From 1977 until 1982, Dr. Jefferson served on the board of directors of the Delta Dental Plan of Michigan. He has been very active with a number of professional dental organizations, including the Michigan Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

In addition, Dr. Jefferson was on the Peer Review and Dental Care Committees of the Detroit District Dental Society. He is also a former president of the Wolverine Dental Society.

Among his civic activities, Dr. Jefferson is a life member of the Detroit chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Detroit's International Afro-American Museum, now the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. He is also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Dr. Jefferson retired from his private practice in 1999.

Tape recorded interview;
Detroit, MI
8 July  1998
audio clip

I: What were the attitudes about Black hospitals during the [19]40s, [19]50s and [19]60s?

R: You know I hate to say this, but we Blacks are brainwashed in this sense: that almost anything that a Black does, somehow it's not going to be quite the same as with a White. At this point in life, I know that's rubbish, and you know it's rubbish. But this comes back from years of slavery, and that sort of thing. These are folkways and it's going to take a long time to change these kinds of perceptions. They persist even though-it just takes a long time. So consequently, I'm guilty of it, and the rest of the Blacks are guilty of thinking that these hospitals did not measure up. If they didn't measure up, it was primarily because they couldn't get into some of the kinds of programs that other hospitals could get into, which brought in money. When you think about our population being only 10 percent, at least at that time it was 10 percent, the [remaining] 90 percent of the population really had all the wealth and everything else. It was just a struggle. Black physicians could not get into the White hospitals, so they had to have these Black hospitals.


William G. Anderson
Reginald P. Ayala
Arthur W Boddie
Wilma Brakefield-Caldwell
Henry C. Bryant Jr.
Alice Burton
Waldo L. Cain
James W. Collins
Claude and Vivienne Cooper
Gladys B. Dillard
George Gaines Jr.
Leon Gant
Herman J. Glass Sr.
Della Goodwin
Joseph B. Harris
Frank P. Iacobell
Horace L. Jefferson
Sidney B. Jenkins
Arthur Johnson
Rachel B. Keith
William E. Lawson
Josephine Love
Hayward Maben Jr.
Berna C. Mason
Suesetta T. McCree
Dorothy Mottley
David C. Northcross Jr.
Ophelia B. Northcross
Marjorie Peebles-Meyers
Frank P. Raiford III
Garther Roberson Jr.
S. L. Roberson
Elsie Smith
Fannie L. Starks
Lionel F. Swan
Natalia M. Tanner
Oretta Mae Todd
I. Clara Webb
Charles F. Whitten
Charles H. Wright
Watson Young


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Copyright , Kellogg African American Health Care Project, 2000.
Text and images may not be used without the permission of the Kellogg African American Health Care Project.