Topic | Dr. Charles Victor Roman

Dr. Charles Victor Roman

07/04/1864 to 08/25/1934


Dr. Roman was a physician, professor, author, and activist. He was born in Williamsport, Pennslyvania but mainly raised in Ontario. He graduated from Hamilton Collegiate Institute in Ontario and in 1886 he entered Meharry Medical College. He graduated from Meharry in 1890 and went on to receive a Master of Arts in Philosophy and History at Fisk University. He received postgraduate education at the Medical School of Chicago in 1899 and at the Royal Ophthalmic Hospital and Central London Nose, Throat, and Ear Hospital in England in 1904. Paul Quinn College in Waco, TX, gave him honorary doctorates in 1904 as did Wilberforce University in Ohio, in 1911. From 1890 to 1893, he practiced medicine in Clarksville, TN. He practiced in Dallas from 1893 until 1904, when he became an instructor in eye, ear, nose, and throat diseases at Meharry, where he remained for the rest of his life. Roman taught medical history and ethics and became professor emeritus in 1931. Roman authored a number of books and articles, including “Knowledge of History are Conducive to Racial Solidarity” (1911), “Science and Christian Ethics” (1913), “American Civilization and the Negro” (1916), and “Meharry Medical College: A History.” Through his writings and orations, Roman urged African-Americans to support Black churches, retail establishments, medical facilities, banks, and schools. He criticized racial prejudice, stressed the contributions of Blacks to American civilization, and maintained that “racial solidarity and not amalgamation is the desired and desirable goal of the American Negro.”

Notable Facts

  • The first African American physician to receive training in both ophthalmology and otolaryngology