Amanda V. (Brown) Gray was a pioneer activist, educator, and pharmacist.
Brown was born in Linneus, Missouri, on March 24, 1870, to Rice and Maria Brown. She attended the local schools of Atchison, Kansas, and worked there as a school teacher for several years before relocating to Washington, D.C. around 1893 when she married Arthur Smith Gray.
Gray, received her pharmaceutical graduate degree from Howard University in 1903. She was heavily active in the community’s ongoing social, political and cultural issues.
In 1905, Dr. Gray was a pharmacist in the District before partnering with her husband to open the Fountain Pharmacy. Gray was the first black woman to own and operate a pharmacy in Washington, D.C. Their drug store was at 12th and U Streets, NW.
Along with her husband Arthur, the two were members of the African American elite of Washington and were active in several professional, civic, and social organizations, including the National Medical Association, the NAACP, the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Choral Society, and the Mu-So-Lit Club.
After the death of her husband in 1917 at the age of 48, Dr. Gray closed the pharmacy and joined the WWW I effort, becoming a director of YWCA camp hostess for African American soldiers at Camps Upton, Dix, and Taylor.