John Alcindor (1873-1924) was a physician who was instrumental in the formation of the African Progress Union (APU). He was born in Trinidad and attended St Mary’s College, a private school, in Port of Spain. Alcindor won one of the four Island Scholarships to attend medical school at Edinburgh University, Scotland from which he graduated in 1899.
After graduation Alcindor moved to London and worked at hospitals in Plaistow, Hampstead and Camberwell. In July 1900 he attended the Pan-African Conference held at Westminster Town Hall at which there were 37 delegates from Europe, Africa and the United States including Samuel Coleridge Taylor, John Archer, Dadabhai Naoroji, Sylvester Williams and William Du Bois. Many delegates called for legislation promoting racial equality and Michael Creighton, the Bishop of London, asked the British government to confer the “benefits of self-government” on “other races as soon as possible”.
In 1911 Alcindor married Minnie Martin and the couple had three sons John, Cyril and Roland. Minnie was subsequently disowned by her family for marrying an African.
As a member of the Committee of the National Council for Combating Venereal Disease and honorary member of the Anti-Tuberculosis Society Alcindor worked to prevent syphilis and tuberculosis in Great Britain.
Alcindor became senior district medical officer of the London Borough of Paddington in 1917 and in 1921 chairman of the APU, succeeding John Archer.
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