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Black America and COVID-19

Documenting the impact of COVID-19 on Black America.


        The unfortunate combination of overt racism by government and police officials, uncertainty about the country's economic future, and disproportionality in the outbreak of COVID-19 amongst Black Americans has caused undue stress for families and communities. Black families that were already in precarious financial, mental health, and physical health positions before the outbreak of COVID-19 may face an increasingly arduous road back to economic stability as the nation struggles to grapple with the ill effects of decades of systemic and aversive racism that has prevented non-Black Americans from truly examining their own positions of privilege within our society. It is important that researchers attempting to study these phenomena develop research design considering how racism is operationalized and incorporated in their research inquiries. What is clear is that in the aftermath of COVID-19 an interdisciplinary response is needed to ensure the holistic wellbeing of black families struggling to cope with increased violence in their communities and internal feelings of hopelessness and stress that can threaten overall well-being.  Research methodologies (qualitative, quantitative, mixed, etc.) should take into consideration how racism within our society has affected social institutions while also reflecting on the unintended biases within the research community by making research activities more accessible to the communities under study.

Co-Curator:  Rachel Ludeke, PhD Candidate, New York University, Silver School of Social Work

Presentation of Rachel Ludeke's work on Data gathered on Foster Youth during Covid-19Pandemic (video recording here).

Keyword Search Terms:  corona virus, covid-19, racial data, curve, flatten the curve, data, statistics, numbers, contact tracing, surge, diverted patients, hot spot, epicenter, outbreak, epidemiology, center for disease control (CDC,) science, public health, research, pandemic

Title Source Image

What the COVID-19 Pandemic Means for Black Americans: The bias built into the health system means they will have worse outcomes on average if they get sick 
Scientific American
Uché Blackstock
April 7, 2020

blog Credit: Getty Images
Black Women Speak: The Politics of Coronavirus
​Angela Rye, Tiffany Cross, Sunny Hostin, Jamele Hill, Joy Reid, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Amanda Seales, and Errin Haines
April 11, 2020
event, townhall, video Angela Rye
From The Hospital To The Lab, Black Scientists Are Fighting COVID-19
Linh Anh Cat
April 11, 2020
news Getty

The Injustice of COVID-19
​Politics and More Podcast, The New Yorker
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and David Remnick
April 13, 2020

podcast Photograph by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / VIEWpress / Getty
Black Skin, White Masks: Racism, Vulnerability, & Refuting Black Pathology
Department of African American Studies, Princeton University
Ruha Benjamin
April 15, 2020
video Princeton University Department of African American Studies
Alondra Nelson on Pandemics, Inequality, and the #coronavirussyllabus
Institute for Advanced Study (IAS)
Alondra Nelson and Joanne Lipman
April 15, 2020
interview, resource collection #coronavirussyllabus

Webinar: Data for Black Lives Movement Roundtable (summary)
Data for Black Lives
Tiasia OBrien
April 15, 2020

View the original webinar event registration
View the Twitter feed for Data for Black Lives (@Data4BlackLives)

event, webinar, blog Data for Black Lives

The Black Plague: Public officials lament the way that the coronavirus is engulfing black communities. The question is, what are they prepared to do about it?
The New Yorker
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
April 16, 2020

news Illustration by Jamiel Law
COVID-19, Decarceration, and Abolition: An Evening with Ruth Wilson Gilmore
Haymarket Books
Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Naomi Murakawa
April 16, 2020

View the original event registration here
event, webinar Covid-19, Decarceration, and Abolition
Policing Pandemics’ on the dangers of criminalization during pandemic
The Triangle
Virginia Wardell
​April 17, 2020
news The Triangle
Coronavirus in African Americans and Other People of Color
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Sherita Hill Golden, M.D., M.H.S.
April 20, 2020
news Johns Hopkins Medicine
COVID-19: In Color, By the Numbers (April 2020 Edition)
April 26, 2020
news undefined
African Americans bear the brunt of Covid-19's economic impact
The Guardian
Lauren Aratani and Dominic Rushe
April 28, 2020
news Photograph: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images
The Pandemic's Unequal Toll
Harvard Magazine, Harvard University
Lydialyle Gibson
April 29, 2020

Watch the recording here
news, event, video Harvard Magazine

Inter-American Network on Afro-descendant Population Policies Warns of Disproportionate Impact of the Pandemic in these Communities
The Organization of American States
April 30, 2020

Read the press release here

press release
The Organization of American States logo

Racial Data Dashboard
The COVID Tracking Project, The Atlantic

data collection Mohini Dutta / COVID Tracking Project

COVID-19 and the Color Line
Boston Review
Colin Gordon, Walter Johnson, Jason Q. Purnell, and Jamala Rogers
May 1, 2020

news St. Louis redlining map (detail)

COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)



What We Know About the Covid-19 Race Gap: The CDC is finally releasing more data that show just how unequal the toll of the pandemic is. But we can’t stop there.
The Nation
Zoë Carpenter
May 4, 2020
news Johannes Eisele / AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19 is Devistating Black Communities. And amFAR Just Release New Data and a Website to Prove it. 
The Body Pro
Kenyon Farrow
​May 6, 2020
news, HIV/AIDS FG Trade via iStock

The H1N1 Crisis Predicted Covid-19’s Toll on Black Americans: In 2009, nonwhite patients got sicker faster, recovered more slowly, and died at higher rates than white patients. Now history is repeating itself.
Sidney Fussell
May 6, 2020


The Fact of Blackness: COVID-19, Medical Data, and the Racial Design of Public Health
Data & Society
Tamara K. Nopper, Kenyon Farrow, and Kellie Owens
May 8 2020

Watch the recording here

event, video

THE FACT OF BLACKNESS COVID-19, Medical Data, and the Racial Design of Public Health
Shared Experiences with COVID-19 in African and African American Communities
Africa & COVID-19 Webinar Series, Center for African Studies, Harvard University
May 13, 2020

Watch the recording here
event, video, webinar AFRICA & COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES
COVID-19: In Color, By the Numbers (May 2020 Edition)
May 26, 2020
news undefined
Remembering the 100,000 Lives Lost to Coronavirus in America
New York Times
May 27, 2020
news undefined
How Data Became One of the Most Powerful Tools to Fight an Epidemic
New York Times
Steven Johnson
June 10, 2020
news Street disinfecting in London, 1877, a response to data collected in a new discipline that came to be known as epidemiology. John Thomson/Mary Evans Picture Library

100 New Yorkers
New York Times
Monica Chalabi
June 11, 2020

opinion undefined
COVID-19: In Color, By the Numbers (June 2020 Edition)
June 22, 2020
news undefined
The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus
New York Times
Richard A. Oppel Jr., Robert Gebeloff, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Will Wright, and Mitch Smith
July 5, 2020
news Teresa Bradley, 60, and her husband, Marvin Bradley, 61, both had Covid-19 earlier this year.Elaine Cromie for The New York Times
COVID-19 Open Data by State
Data for Black Lives

Access the spreadsheet here
data collection Data for Black Lives
COVID-19 Equitable Response Community Commons
Center for Urban and Racial Equity (CURE)
resource collection Center for Urban and Racial Equity
COVID-19 - Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources
Racial Equality Tools
resource collection Race Equality Tools
CPS and COVID-19
general collection IPUMS CPS

Supporting Public Opinion Data Related to COVID-19
Roper Center

resource collection Roper Center

The COVKID Project

Note: COVKID is conducting on-going surveillance of COVID-19 in children and teens. We have a dedicated disparities page - however very little data are currently available for both race/ethnicity AND age. There are currently 2 states reporting (California and Illinois).

resource undefined

COVID Racial Data Tracker: Ibram X. Kendi on How Better Data Reveals the True Toll of the Pandemic
Democracy Now!
May 27, 2020

news, interview

Pandemic Portal                              
Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab


“The convergence of police violence and COVID-19”
CC: World
Ruha Benjamin and David Theo Goldberg
July 22, 2020


COVID-19 Global Research Registry for Public Health and Social Sciences