Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Black Panther medical and dental clinics: a bit of the story

A year or so ago, after we had put out some information about the People's Institute and Portland Free Dispensary, we were asked the question: "What ever happened to the Black Panther clinics?" To which we replied: "What Black Panther clinics?" (Forgive us.)

A good bit of the answer to that question has now, happily, been provided by the Winter 2009 (88:1) issue of Reed magazine. Included is an article by Martha Gies (author of Up All Night) titled "Radical Treatment", which outlines the history of the Black Panther medical and dental clinics in Portland, and, as you would expect, the role Reedies played in their establishment.

And you don't even need to read through my keen analysis of the article, since it's freely available online. What a bonus! And it's only Tuesday.

3 comments:

Kimberly Jensen said...

This is a great article and an important chapter in Portland medical history. Thanks for this link.

Sara Piasecki said...

From an email sent by article author Martha Gies:

In answer to the original question: the dental clinic is still operating, now under the auspices of OHSU dental school, but in the same location, at N Vancouver and N Russell.
The free health clinic, according to the Panthers I have asked, kept going for a decade, finally closing at the end of the seventies. Two reasons cited: the FBI had provided so much interference with Panther activities that it took energy away from their social programs. And also, as Kent Ford said, "It was time for most people to look for paid work." Just as well they didn't last until the eighties, as the tight money policies of the Reagan period would have dried them up anyway.
Martha Gies

Abdul Jalil said...

I believe the issue of your being unaware of this history epitomizes the results of the effort to hide this invaluable issue, or as was said in the article by Oscar Johnson "to completely erase it"; while at the same time raising the necessity of preserving it. Thank you for the article it was very helpful and informing. Abdul Jalil Mahmoud