Dr. Remus Robinson was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1904. He first came to Detroit as a teen before getting his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1930.
At the time, Detroit had about 120,000 Black residents, but the overwhelming majority of people who lived in the city were white. Many institutions in the city, including the biggest and most well-funded hospitals, were still segregated and openly discriminated against Black people. Black patients who did go to the city’s major hospitals were kept in separate wards and died from treatable diseases more often than white patients.