Every day this month, the Center for Black Educator Development, in partnership with Phillys7thWard.org and the Education Post, will highlight a Black Educator Hall of Famer. But, don’t forget, e’ry month is Black History Month…February is just the Blackest.
Today, our featured Black Educator Hall of Fame Member is Ernest Everett Just.
Ernest E. Just was born on August 14, 1883 in Charleston, SC. Sadly, just father died when he was four years old. To take care of Justin, his siblings his mother, Mary move the family to James Island, off the coast of South Carolina to work in the mines there. She was so respected amongst members of the community that upon those community members purchasing land, and starting a new town, they named it after just mother, calling it, Maryville.
Just was an intelligent student. He originally attended the high school of the Colored Normal Industrial, Agricultural & Mechanical College (later named South Carolina State University), yet later enrolled at Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire, because he believed that he would receive a superior education by attending a college preparatory school in the North.
After graduation from Kimball Union, Dr. Just attended and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1907; graduating magna cum laude in biology with a minor in history. He was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Immediately after graduation, Dr. Just taught at Howard University where he was appointed head of the Department of Zoology in 1912, while also serving as a professor in the medical school and head of the Department of Physiology until his death. In 1916, Dr. Just graduated magna cum laude from University of Chicago receiving his doctorate in experimental embryology.
His love of science sprang from his university years that, where Dr. Just discovered an interest in biology after reading a paper on fertilization and egg development. From that love of biology, Dr. Just pioneered many areas on the physiology of development, including fertilization, experimental parthenogenesis, hydration, cell division, dehydration in living cells and ultraviolet carcinogenic radiation effects on cells.
Because of racism, Dr. Just couldn’t find any work at a major American university, so he moved to Europe to continue his research. He first lived in Naples Italy, but moved to Berlin, Germany until the Nazis took over 1933. After which he relocated to Paris, France to continue his research. However, he was held as a prisoner of war when the Nazis took over Paris. He was rescued by the U.S. and returned to the country, but died shortly thereafter.
Ernest Everett Just; a member of the Black Educator Hall of Fame.
For more information on Ernest Everett Just, visit the following site.