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Edward Neal Sr., the trailblazer who broke racial and gender norms at Univ. of Maryland in 1973


During this segment, Deanna Neal interviews her grandfather, Edward Neal Sr., who is recognized as the first male and African American to graduate from the University of Maryland Dental Hygiene Program in 1973.

Neal, a retired dental hygienist, shares his experiences growing up in segregated Baltimore and how it shaped his childhood and limited professional opportunities.

His journey began at Morgan College, (now Morgan State University) but due to academic struggles, he joined the U.S. Navy where he worked as a dental technician.

After working various jobs, Neal eventually enrolled in the University of Maryland's Dental Hygiene School despite being the only male at the institution.

During the conversation, Edward Neal talks about the importance of determination, education, family, and faith.

Click the audio to listen.