Despite the social, economic, and political advancements, African Americans have made in recent decades, inequities between White and Black Americans remain in a number of areas. Nowhere are these inequities more apparent than in health care and health outcomes. African-Americans experience illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease, at higher rates than Whites; they also experience a higher mortality rate across all causes. Racial bias and prejudice negatively affect the health of African Americans across all social strata, influencing how health professionals interact with and treat their Black patients, increasing stress, and resulting in lower quality of life. Limited economic mobility and environmental racism mean that African Americans experience environment-based illnesses—such as asthma—and are exposed to toxins at higher rates than White Americans. Tackling social inequalities is essential in order to improve health outcomes for African Americans. The Article content was presented at the Symposium “Perspectives on Racial Justice in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter” on October 20, 2017.
Raja Staggers-Hakim, BLACK LIVES MATTER, CIVIL RIGHTS, AND HEALTH INEQUITIES, 40 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 447 (2018), https://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/lawreview/vol40/iss3/5