Dr. Black completed his premedical and medical education at McGill University. He interned at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, where he also received training in general surgery. In preparation for neurosurgery, he spent a year in Neurology at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He trained in Neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, under the direction of A. Earl Walker. During his residency, he was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), held in the Department of Physiology at Johns Hopkins. In the final year of residency, he was awarded the Residents' Paper Award of the Southern Neurosurgical Society.
On completion of the residency, Dr. Black was appointed to the neurosurgical faculty at Johns Hopkins and rose to the rank of Associate Professor. In recognition of his research in interhemispheric communication in primates, he also held a teaching appointment in Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins. During his tenure at Hopkins, he was Director of the Child Head Injury Project, funded by the NIH. He was Vice-Chairman of The Johns Hopkins Medical School Council and was a member of the Advisory Board of the Medical Faculty. Dr. Black's research while at Johns Hopkins was carried out as Director of the Laboratory of Neurological Sciences, Friends Medical Science Research Center, with studies on corpus callosum function in primates, mechanisms of recovery after lesions of motor cortex, and spinal cord injury. He was a member of a grant-review section of the NIH.
In 1979, Dr. Black was appointed Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Hahnemann University (now Drexel University College of Medicine) in Philadelphia. He organized a Pain Treatment Program, as well as a program for the mangement of malignant brain tumors, for which clinical trials were carried out with monoclonal antibodies. His laboratory research at Hahnemann focused on animal models of human glioma, and he continued work on spinal cord injury. For his research in spinal cord injury, he received the Volvo Award of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies. In addition to his clinical and research publications, he edited three books: Drugs and the Brain; Physiological Correlates of Emotion; and Brain Dysfunction in Children: Etiology, Diagnosis, and Management. During his tenure as Chairman at Hahnemann, 15 neurosurgical residents graduated from the Program. Dr. Black continues his clinical and research activities as Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery) at Drexel.
Dr. Black was active in the Congress of Neurological Surgeons as Chairman of the Scientific Program Committee, Editor of the Newsletter, member of the Executive Committee, and Chairman of the International Committee. He was Associate Editor of Neurosurgery (Official Journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons), and International Neurosurgery Editor of the Journal. He received the Distinguished Service Award of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. In the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, he was on the Subcommittee on Continuing Education. Dr. Black served as President of the Pennsylvania Neurosurgical Society.