In 1895, the first chiropractic adjustment was given to a black patient by D.D. Palmer. The early literature of the Palmer School and of the Discoverer gave prominence to the picture and the role which Harvey Lillard thus occupied in pioneer chiropractic. Yet within two decades the Palmer catalogue was declaring that “with one exception, its doors are open to all races.” This racisim by the “Developer” of the profession continued until mid-century, when civil action forced a change in the PSC admittance policies. Thus inhibited in entering the profession through the “Fountainhead” school. Blacks took up chiropractic largely in “Jim Crow” schools conducted by white practitioners, located in several cities. The Lillard legacy almost attached itself to an eastern institution which was the result of one of the major mergers of propriatry schools during the 1940’s. As with other professions, Black participation and advancement did not come without struggle. This history of the Black experience in chiropractic – both as practitioner and patient – is told from the vantage point of a Black chiropractor and the founder of the American Black Chiropractic Association.
Paper read before the second Conference on Chiropractic History, Logan College of Chiropractic, Chesterfield, Mo., June 12, 1982.
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Click on the above link for free full text.