The Reckoning: When a Pandemic Collides with Systemic Racism The Reckoning: When a Pandemic Collides with Systemic Racism

Black Americans are now experiencing two simultaneous devastating impacts of systemic racism on their health and wellbeing: coronavirus, which has hit Black communities harder and more destructively than it has many other communities, and the continuous epidemic of racially motivated systemic violence against Black lives. Drawing on interviews with leaders and forward-thinkers in Greater Boston’s Black community, this feature delves into the health and wellbeing issues and system conditions surrounding these intersecting threats to Black communities in Greater Boston and beyond.

Part One: "It was very easy to see who was bearing the brunt of COVID-19."

The coronavirus pandemic’s impact on Black Americans and the health and access disparities that left Black Americans more vulnerable to coronavirus.

Part Two: "It hurts my soul to really have to explain to somebody that I deserve to live."

How the stress and trauma of racism and racially motivated violence against Black bodies and minds contribute to and exacerbate vulnerability to epidemics and chronic health issues in Black communities.

Part Three: "Let’s look at the extent to which racism is embedded in policies and then hold people accountable."

A look at some of the changes needed and, in some cases, already being discussed in a variety of health, economic, and social systems to reduce the health and wellbeing disparities built into our policies and practices over many generations.