By Brother David L. Carl
Dr. Cobb, the first Black Ph.D. in anthropology, applied his research to challenge the false theories of racial inferiority espoused by leading physicians, naturalists and anthropologists, who promoted myths of racial hierarchies and the biological inferiority of the darker races. He wielded science as a formidable tool in the struggle for racial equality and civil rights, creating a less racialized perspective of human life.
Through social responsibility and scholarly activism, he showed the consequences of the human condition as a result of segregation and racism, and the impact on the health and livelihood of Blacks in America. Cobb amassed an unprecedented collection of human skeletons and records disproving and dissolving misinformation, including many racially and socially biased studies. Cobb served as a key part of the team of lawyers, witness and advocates that led to the passage of Medicare and that helped to pass several other health care laws.