The Black Panthers Made Their Own Medical Clinics To Provide Free Healthcare

black panthers standing together
Adé Hennis
February 2, 2024

The Black Panther Party made it a priority to provide for Black communities across the country, and while they invigorated our spirit for civil justice, they treated our bodies with tender care.

“We’d go in, and there would be an elderly person in some apartment who needed, really needed, to see a doctor but they were afraid to go to the doctor.” Our people continue to distrust the traditional medical system, and the Black Panthers knew it was time to have medical professionals that they could trust.

Between 1969 and 1975, the Panthers established community medical clinics in 13 cities. In these spaces, patients felt safe and trusted the medical staff. These  professionals would even come to someone’s home if they needed help.

These safe havens educated our people on general health. At the same time,  the Panthers emphasized re-educating medical professionals on the discrepancies Black people face in healthcare.

As we fight for equality, each of us must use our unique skills to share  knowledge that is being purposely kept from us. In what other fields can we create safe havens for our people?