Permanent Black Man
Valerie Jarrett's extraordinary family treeJarrett's father, Dr. James Bowman, Jr., was a groundbreaking pathologist and geneticist. In her interview, Jarrett describes hearing about his first day as a resident at what was then called St. Luke's Hospital in Chicago, where he was told that he couldn't enter the front door because of the color of his skin. He decided it was time to break the rules.
"His attitude was, look, I'm going to be a physician here. I'm coming in the front door," Jarrett tells O'Donnell. "And so, the first day of work, he showed up and he walked in the front door. And everybody was aghast. And the next day, when he showed up for work, all of the black staff that worked in the hospital -- from the nurses to the orderlies to the administrators -- were waiting by the front door and they walked in with him. And so he, in a sense, integrated the front door of the hospital."