Many health care inequalities seem to be racially based. Racism and racial conflict in America can be explained in the context of three historical time periods and the prevailing economic systems of those times. The problem of access to basic health care for the black underclass is enormous. Traditional solutions of health education, health promotion, and low-cost health care have done very little to change the outcomes of increased morbidity and mortality. Health care professionals need to confront the real problem of inadequate life chances and limited economic resources for the underclass through research and the restructuring of our health care delivery system.