Doctor drawing blood from a patient as part of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Source: National Archives Atlanta, GA via Wikimedia Commons

Another Burden To Bear

A History of Racial Health Disparities in America

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted  communities of color. According to the CDC, 33% of people who’ve been hospitalized due to the virus have been African-American, despite making up only 18% of the population. The ongoing crisis is a reminder of the racial health disparities that have plagued the United States throughout its history. So on this episode of BackStory, Joanne and Brian learn about how different communities have struggled to acquire adequate health care.

NOTE: This episode was recorded before protests took place across the country in response to the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer. The protests, in addition to the death toll of COVID-19, serve as brutal reminders of the systemic inequalities afflicting communities of color. 

Suggested Reading:

Murray, Shaw, and Siegel’s Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories (Law Stories Series)

Jim Crow in the Asylum: Psychiatry and Civil Rights in the American South by Kylie Smith

Madness in the City of Magnificent Intentions: A History of Race and Mental Illness in the Nation’s Capital by Martin Summers

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