Black hospitals on the brink of extinction5
On this date we celebrate Black Hospitals. Black hospitals have existed in three broad types: segregated, black-controlled, and demographically determined.
Segregated Black hospitals included facilities created by Whites to serve African-Americans exclusively and they operated predominantly in the South. Black physicians, fraternal organizations, and churches founded Black- controlled facilities. Changes in population led to the development of demographically determined hospitals, as was the case with Harlem Hospital. This facility evolved into institutional status because of the rise in Black population surrounding the hospital.
Until the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, hospitals in the South and in the North either denied African-Americans admission, or accommodated them exclusively in segregated wards, usually in undesirable locations such as unheated attics and damp basements. The Georgia Infirmary, 1832, was the first segregated Black hospital. By the end of the nineteenth century, others had been founded, including Raleigh’s St. Agnes Hospital in 1896 and Atlanta’s MacVicar Infirmary in 1900. Some of their White founders expressed genuine if paternalistic desire and interest to supply health care to Black people.