Created 19-Aug-10
5 photos

DR. ELVYN VERONE DAVIDSON
10/06/23 - 07/06/10


"Doc" Davidson was a member of the "Buffalo Soldiers" serving in Italy in WWII. He served as emergency room physician at Oak Ridge Hospital for many years, then Chief of Surgery at Baptist Hospital for two years, and then instructor of surgery at UT Hospital.

He also happened to be the attending in charge at Harlem Hospital on the night of September 20, 1958, when the ambulance brought Martin Luther King, Jr. into the emergency room there, the victim of a crazed woman who had stabbed him with a letter opener. The opener was lodged between his aortic arch and the left ventricle, with the tip touching his left lung. Dr. Davidson and the team told Dr. King, whatever you do, don't cough. They removed the letter opener. Dr. Davidson visited Dr. King every day during his recovery. He told King that if he had been stabbed by the lady, he could never forgive her. Then Elvyn Davidson got the lecture of his life from Dr. King, who had already forgiven the lady. I heard that lecture from Doc Davidson as we had lunch at Tomato Head. I will never forget the look on his face as he talked about Martin Luther King.

Elvyn Davidson held the American Civil Rights movement in his hands and saved countless patients in the emergency room over the years, but he was one of the most humble, down-to-earth people I have ever met.

These photos were taken at a session with Avon Rollins, director of the Beck Center and a founding member of the Student NonViolent Committee. Avon and Doc Davidson were good friends.

It was a honor to know you, Doc.

DM