See Palmetto State Medical Association.
Established in 1896 as the Palmetto Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association, the Palmetto State Medical Association was one of the first late nineteenth-century professional societies founded by black doctors, dentists, and pharmacists. The association offered its members opportunities for socializing and sharing information on new medical discoveries and techniques.
After the American Medical Association voted to exclude black physicians from membership, black doctors formed the National Medical Association in 1895. This organization extended membership to pharmacists and dentists holding professional degrees. The inclusiveness, common also in state and local black medical societies, helped build membership at a time when black medical practitioners of any kind were scarce. Segregation practices, limited numbers of medical schools that admitted blacks, and low-income potential often prevented black physicians and others in the various fields of medicine from gaining essential postgraduate education.
South Carolina medical societies barred blacks from membership. In response, Dr. C.C. Johnson of Columbia, South Carolina, encouraged the creation of an association for black medical professionals. Black doctors, R. Levy, L.A. Earle, and A.C. McClennan assisted in the creation and promotion of the Palmetto Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association. The new society divided along the state's prominent geographic regions: Piedmont, Pee Dee, and the Congaree. The various chapters held their own monthly meetings, and all met annually in April for a three-day conference sponsored by the association.
It is not known when the group simplified its name, but records indicate it continued to meet monthly until the 1960s. The organization eventually divided into four regional societies: Charleston County, the Congaree, Piedmont, and the Inter-County. A 1971 South Carolina Medical Association publication reported an approximate membership in the Palmetto State Medical Association of fifty physicians, fifty dentists, and twenty-five pharmacists. The small enrollment likely reflects changes encouraged by the integration of medical societies in the state.
See Pan-African Congress.
Pan-Africanist ideals emerged in the late nineteenth century in response to European colonization and exploitation of the African continent. Pan-Africanist philosophy held that slavery and colonialism depended on and encouraged negative, unfounded categorizations of the race, culture, and values of African people. These destructive