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Louisiana’s first black female doctor being honored with marker

Posted at 11:25 AM, Nov 03, 2018

The state’s first black female doctor is being honored in New Iberia today.

Dr. Emma Wakefield-Paillet is being recognized with a historical marker at the Bouligny Plaza.

Thanks to Phebe Hayes with the nonprofit  Iberia African American Historical Society, the Louisiana Office of Tourism approved the installation of the marker.

In 1897,  Dr. Wakefield-Paillet graduated with honors from New Orleans Medical University, which is now Dillard University.

The New Iberia native passed the state medical boards at the top of her class, earning her license to practice on April 15, 1897. Of 67 candidates, five were black, and she was the only woman.

Before the unveiling of the marker,  keynote speakers addressed the crowd about how Dr. Wakefield-Paillet paved the way for many.