Black History Month in Chiropractic Snellville GA

Black History Month in Chiropractic Snellville GA

Chiropractor Snellville GA Dionne Anderson Black History Month

As with many notable African American accomplishments in other fields, this portion of history is sadly often forgotten and unacknowledged, even by major chiropractic organizations. Here at Hand and Heart Chiropractic, we believe that black history in chiropractic should be acknowledged, preserved, and celebrated for generations to come.

Harvey Lillard

Harvey Lillard was the owner and operator of a janitorial business in Davenport, Iowa. Coincidentally, he also worked in the same building as the man who would become the founder of chiropractic itself, DD Palmer. Harvey Lillard had been deaf for 17 years following a back injury, and Palmer noticed a lump on his back that he determined to be a misplaced bone. Palmer would then perform the first known chiropractic adjustment on Lillard, and after his second adjustment, his hearing was restored! On that day in 1895, the field was established on the literal back of a black man.

Dr. Fred Rubel

A 1913 graduate from the National School of Chiropractic, Dr. Fred Rubel became the first certified black chiropractor. Just a year after graduation, he would go on to found Rubel College of Chiropractic in 1914. Not only was this the first school in the field to openly accept anyone regardless of race, but it was also one of the first degree-offering schools in general to openly accept black people. The goal of the college, in his own words, was “to open the field of instruction to all races, no matter what the color of their skin may be, so as particularly to give members of the colored race an opportunity to learn one of the greatest modern professions—chiropractic.”

Dr. Clarence Reaver and Dorothy Park

Finding a young black woman named Dorothy Park who showed potential in the field, white chiropractor Dr. Clarence Reaver challenged the Palmer School of Chiropractic to accept her in 1941. Unfortunately, the school had instated a “negros not accepted” policy from its founding, and the headmaster at the time, B.J Palmer, folded under the threat of student walkout and did not accept her. Dr. Reaver would then establish his own school, Reaver School of Chiropractic, in 1945, which accepted all students regardless of race. Unfortunately, what became of Dorothy Park after her rejection is unknown.

Dr. Bobby Westbrooks

Noticing the lack of knowledge of chiropractic from the black community, Dr. Bobby Westbrooks formed the American Black Chiropractic Association in 1981. Due to its creation, black involvement in the field rose dramatically.

Dr. Jerry Hardee

In 2002, Dr. Jerry Hardee was inaugurated as the first black president of a chiropractic college. Dr. Hardee served as the President of the Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic, and his tenure inspired many more black students to join the field.

Where We Are Now in Snellville GA

Unfortunately, due to being a historically “white” practice, black involvement in chiropractic is still very low overall. However, if you visit Hand and Heart Chiropractic in Snellville, GA, our very own Dr. Dionne Anderson will show you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Consider becoming a practice member with us today, so we can make history together, one adjustment at a time.


Vernon, Leonard. “Chiropractic’s Continued Legacy of Racism and Its Affect on Minority Population Utilization. .” ResearchGate, 2018,’s_Continued_Legacy_of_Racism_and_its_Affect_on_Minority_Population_Utilization.


10:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

10:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm


10:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm


1st & 3rd Saturday
9:00am - 12:00pm


Hand & Heart Chiropractic

2148 Main St E
Snellville, GA 30078

(770) 343-7473