This story was produced in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and was originally published by Word In Black.
From disproportionately high rates of chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes to women being three times more likely to die during childbirth than whites, the data confirms a simple, indisputable, alarming fact: Being Black in America is hazardous to your health.
Multiple studies have shown that structural racism — from Jim Crow laws that institutionalized second-class citizenship to microaggressions from coworkers at the office — is a key contributor to poor health outcomes among Black people. It’s why some 300 jurisdictions, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have declared racism a public health threat.
That’s why Dr. Gail Christopher, a researcher and public health specialist, believes that the path towards improving the health of Black people begins by ending the story the U.S. tells itself about race.