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In September, 1904, a twenty-year-old Grenadian man named Walter Clement Noel disembarked in New York after an eight-day voyage from Barbados. At the time, few Black people were permitted to study at most American universities, but Noel—who was well off, well educated, and a foreigner—had secured a spot at the Chicago College of Dental Surgery. During his journey, he’d developed a painful sore on his ankle; after clearing customs and immigration, he sought out a doctor, who applied a tincture of iodine to the wound.

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