Black History Month – Honoring Anna James, First African American Female Pharmacist

1 year ago  •  Add Comment  •  by Donna Bliss

Anna Louise James made history as one of the first African American female pharmacists and the first African American woman to graduate from the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy. Born on January 19, 1886, Anna was the daughter of a Virginia plantation slave who escaped to Connecticut.

Anna’s brother in law, Peter was the first African American Pharmacist in the state of Connecticut.  Anna worked at Lane Pharmacy, Peter’s store in Old Say brook and learned first-hand how important the pharmacist role was which gave her the drive and ambition to get her degree.

Peter was called to serve in World War I, leaving the pharmacy to Anna. She changed the name to James Pharmacy. Anna Louise lived in the back of her pharmacy until her death in 1977 at the age of 91. She was a true pioneer in the pharmacy business.

James Pharmacy is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To learn more about the legacy of Anna and the James Pharmacy, visit:

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