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Black America and COVID-19

Documenting the impact of COVID-19 on Black America.


          The toxic inequities in education experienced by black communities have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unequivocally, The Teachers’ Lounge believes that education is resistance and the greatest lever for liberation. It is our collective responsibility to pull on that lever with all of our might, so that we might empower our children with the most critical knowledge and opportunities needed to improve the condition of the world for all people, and specifically those who feel the sharpest edge of injustice and inequity.  The Teachers' Lounge, in conjunction with Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and Harvard College Libraries, is privileged to piece together this guide to provide authentic social and cultural perspective to students, faculty and researchers interested in exploring the topic intimately.

Co-Curator: Jabari Peddie     As a principal of a Boston school, and a Co-founder of The Teachers' Lounge, a nonprofit that organizes educators of color across the Greater Boston Area, I have garnered unique insight that tells an intimate story from the perspectives of black and brown educators, students, and their families.  The tie that connects the notes of these voices is inequity.  If you listen closely, the resounding themes you will hear are those of ill-equipped schools, unreliable technology, and teachers, parents, and caregivers who lack the resources to provide and sustain rigorous and equitable instruction.  And at the bottom of this scale are the tones of children who are painfully missing their teachers, friends and schools. It is incumbent of me to use the privilege that I hold, my position and my platform, to share authentic and accurate information, and honor the ballads of those most impacted by educational inequities.   

Co-Curator: Devin Morris     As a former teacher, school leader, and resource provider for school leaders across the state on Family Engagement practices, I believe the voices of the people most impacted by inequities need to be at the forefront of research and action planning to ensure, for all students and stakeholders in education, we do not haphazardly work to restore status quo. Status quo was a safe haven for the very same pre-pandemic inequities. There are, however, resources we can ascertain and learnings we can implement, as we adapt through our current crisis, in search of a system that ends the “one size fits all” factory model of education, closes the opportunity gap, and brings equity and excellence to education.

Keyword Search Terms: Students, education, Higher Education, Academic Institutions, On-Line Learning, Homeschooling, Daycare, Childcare, School Lunch, School Meals, Graduation, Class of 2020, Teacher's Union, College Admissions, College Athletics, Academic Budgets, endowments, fundraising, tuition, international students, bankruptcy, admissions, food distribution, meals, internet, Teachers, Educators, Educators of Color, Parents, Food Insecurities, Remote Learning, Learning Lost, Homelessness, Housing







We Spoke With Black Mothers About How COVID-19 Is Affecting Their Families: THEY ARE STAYING STRONG THROUGH THIS UNCERTAIN TIME
Brooklyn White
March 20, 2020



Why the coronavirus crisis could hit historically black colleges and universities especially hard
The Washington Post
Valerie Strauss
April 7, 2020



Time to fix American education with race-for-space resolve
The Harvard Gazette
Liz Mineo
​April 10, 2020


Rubén Rodriguez/Unsplash

School closures, government responses, and learning inequality around the world during COVID-19
The Brookings Institute
Emiliana Vegas
April 14, 2020


Brookings Institute

Peeling Back the Mask: Holding Harvard Accountable to Communities of Color in the Age of COVID-19
Harvard Graduate School of Education, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice and the Harvard Common Spaces
David J. Harris, Devin Morris, Jabari Peddie, Dr. Christina Villareal, Ra’Shaun Nalls, and Tracie Jones
April 21, 2020

See the original event page here

event, panel discussion, video

Peeling Back the Mask

Joint Statement on Xenophobic and Racist Actions in Response to COVID-19
Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University
April 23, 2020


Hutchins Center

Spelman College Faces a Redefined Reality: The school, which was designed for the success of black women and cherishes close relationships among its Spelman Sisters, is dealing with distance and separation.
New York Times
Mary Schmidt Campbell
April 23, 2020


Founders Day at Spelman College in Atlanta in 2019.Credit...Spelman College

Hell No, We Won't Go...Outside
Dear Culture Podcast, Art19
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
April 30, 2020

audio, podcast, interview

Dear Culture

No more pencils, no more books: Closing schools for covid-19 does lifelong harm and widens inequality​
The Economist
April 30, 2020



Pell Grant Expansion is Key During the Recession
Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice
Jacqueline Lantsman
May 13, 2020


Cal State LA, by Vanessa Rancano

What a School Means: A Conversation with Eve L. Ewing
Haymarket Books
Dr. Eve L. Ewing and Jen Johnson
May 14, 2020

View the original event page here
Watch the video here

event, video

Haymarket Books

Graduate Together: America Honors The High School Class Of 2020 | NBC News
NBC News
Hosted by Lebron James
May 16, 2020

Read a full transcript of President Barak Obama's message here

news, event, video


Read the Full Transcript of Obama’s H.B.C.U. Commencement Speech
New York Times
May 16, 2020



The choices working parents make now will shape the future for women
Quartz at Work
Cassie Werber
May 21, 2020


What flexible working looks like now.

Providing insight and inspiration
The Harvard Gazette
Juan Siliezar
May 28, 2020

Watch a vide of the event here

news, video

Veritas flags displayed at the Memorial Church. Kris Snibbe/Harvard file photo

Black Americans homeschool for different reasons than whites
The Conversation
Mahala Dyer Stewart
June 1, 2020


The Conversation

Watch Now: Dear Class of 2020
June 6, 2020



Research Shows Students Falling Months Behind During Virus Disruptions
New York Times
Dana Goldstein
June 10, 2020


Danielle Gandy with her daughters Madison, 15, and Cadynce, 6. Assessing their remote education, Ms. Gandy said “it’s maybe a fraction of what they would be learning if they were in an actual school setting.”Credit...Kendrick Brinson for The New York Times

Is Now the Time to Build a Better System? K–12 Education and Systemic Racism in the Era of COVID-19
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University
July 13, 2020
Kevin Godden, Na’ilah Suad Nasir, Justin Reich, and Meira Levinson



8 Black Homeschool Moms share Advice for Homeschooling During COVID-19
Rattles & Heels



Education and Democracy in Covid-19 America
Social Science Research Council
Domingo Morel
June 11, 2020



Education Now: Practicing Antiracism in Your School
Harvard Graduate School of Education
August 5, 2020



COVID University New York (CVNY)
The Gotham Center For New York City History
Char Adams


COVID-19 and the Racial Equity Implications of Reopening College and University Campuses
American Journal of Education
Shaun R. Harper
August 28, 2020

Journal Article