Minnie Lee Crosthwaite
Minnie Lee Crosthwaite. Photo: The Black Archives of Mid-America.
1872 – 1963
Crosthwaite was one of the first African American social workers in Kansas City and spent decades working to improve health care for the local Black community.
Though she had already taught public school, raised a family, and owned two businesses, in middle age Crosthwaite began working at Wheatley-Provident Hospital at 18th Street and Forest Avenue, established in 1910 specifically for African Americans. As president of the Hospital Auxiliary, Crosthwaite led an immensely successful annual fashion show that attracted thousands of people and raised money for the hospital.