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January 1971

Medical Care and the Black Community

Arch Intern Med. 1971;127(1):51-56. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310130055004

The concept of equal health and health rights has been gaining a wider exposure and acceptance in this country. However, in practice, millions of Americans are being denied this basic human right. I believe that beyond an incredible lack of medical care organization, poverty and racism, viewed in their broadest contexts and implications, play a major role in the deplorable state of our nation's health.

The special emphasis which is now being directed at the provision of health services for the poor, or ghetto medicine, is certainly long overdue. The poor and the ethnics of color (brown, black, and red) are the most deprived in our affluent and coldly materialistic society. They are deprived not only of health and medical services but of almost every other societal benefit which the majority group takes for granted. While these high risk groups are in greatest need of new and increased services, we