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Black America and COVID-19

Documenting the impact of COVID-19 on Black America.


Given the current times that we are in, social justice movements are in a heightened state. Protests have been happening nationwide since the death of George Floyd, and many of those involved in the protests are those in my generation, young adults in college or near college age. Being a current college undergraduate, I know countless people who have increased their political and social activism during these times, especially via the means of protests and other organized events to inspire change. While the protests may not be directly tied to Covid-19, the notion that Black Americans are fighting a war on multiple fronts is important to consider. Even more so, the fact that the wave of protests comes during this Covid era makes it even more difficult, as even though many people would like to do everything in their power to push the movement forward, the necessity to keep oneself safe and healthy can interfere in many ways
Co-Curator: Quentin Harris, Class of 2022, University of Chicago

Keyword Search Terms: Social justice, civil disobedience, protest, social distance, change, contact, systematic racism, community involvement.

Title Source Image
Breonna Taylor Was Always Essential The young EMT didn’t need to be a hero. She just needed to be alive
Rolling Stone
Jamil Smith
May 14, 2020
politics, opinion A new law named after Breonna Taylor, the Louisville EMT killed by police in her apartment, will ban the practice of no-knock warrants.  Family of Breonna Taylor, courtesy of Benjamin Crump
Of Course There Are Protests. The State Is Failing Black People. The collapse of politics and governance leaves no other option.
New York Times
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
May 29, 2020
news, opinion A protester in Minneapolis.Credit...Kerem Yucel/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Will Protests Set Off a Second Viral Wave?: Across the country, mayors, public health experts and other officials worry that even though many protesters are wearing masks, the risk of new coronavirus cases will increase as thousands gather.
New York Times
Roni Caryn Rabin
May 31, 2020
news Protesters in Brooklyn during a rally on Saturday.Credit...Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
May 31 update on COVID-19 in MN: As state surpasses 1K deaths, protests raise fears of new outbreaks
MPR News
MPR News Staff
May 31, 2020
news A man wearing a mask walks with his dog on Monday in Minneapolis. Kerem Yücel for MPR News
Former FDA commissioner, other officials warn mass protests could cause spikes in infections
The Washington Post
Derek Hawkins, Adam Taylor, William Booth, Paul Schemm, Kareem Copeland, Steven Goff and Teo Armus
May 31, 2020
news A worker performs a drive-up coronavirus test in Los Angeles. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Will the protests cause a spike in COVID-19 cases? Wait two weeks.
The Philadelphia Inquirer 
Tom Avril
May 31, 2020
How Dangerous Is It to Protest During a Pandemic?: Large gatherings can spread COVID-19, especially as people shout and confront police — but there are ways to mitigate the risk of transmission
Rolling Stone
Elizabeth Yuko
May 31, 2020
news A protest in Los Angeles, May 30th 2020.  Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock
The protests are raising fears of a spike in coronavirus cases
Hollie Silverman and Theresa Waldrop
June 1, 2020
news Demonstrators gathered to protest the death of George Floyd near the White House Sunday.
Protesting Racism Versus Risking COVID-19: 'I Wouldn't Weigh These Crises Separately'
Bill Chappell
June 1, 2020
news Protests over police treatment of black people have sparked concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Here, a protester marches Monday in Philadelphia with a cloth mask saying, "I can't breathe." Mark Makela/Getty Images
Coronavirus Today: Protesting and COVID-19
Los Angeles Times
Diya Chacko
June 1, 2020
news  woman holds a sign as protesters caravan through Oakland on Sunday.(Johana Bhuiyan/Los Angeles Times)
The Protests Will Spread the Coronavirus: The country should expect a spike in less than two weeks, public-health experts say.
The Atlantic
Robinson Meyer
June 1, 2020
Could Massive George Floyd Protests Lead To A Resurgence Of COVID-19 Cases In Chicago?: Time will tell if the large crowds over the weekend cause a new spike in cases, but health officials urge participants to quarantine for 14 days.
Mariah Woelfel
June 1, 2020
news Protests on Saturday, May 30, in Chicago after the death of George Floyd, who was killed after a Minneapolis police officer put his knee on his neck. Public health officials are concerned gatherings could spread COVID-19, but say time will tell. Katherine Nagasawa / WBEZ
Will Boston’s protests cause a COVID-19 spike? Here’s what Charlie Baker said. Protests have drawn thousands of people — many wearing masks — into Boston.
Arianna MacNeill
June 1, 2020
news A protest against police brutality moves up to the steps of the Massachusetts State House on Sunday. –Blake Nissen for The Boston Globe
Hundreds or thousands could come down with COVID-19 after Chicago protests, expert says: Added Mayor Lori Lightfoot: “Please, in exercising your First Amendment rights or if you are out for any other reason, you have now put yourself at risk and we need you to isolate yourself.”
Chicago Sun Times
Brett Chase
June 1, 2020
news Hundreds of peaceful protesters gather on Daley Plaza on May 31, 2020 to protest George Floyd’s death. Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Chicago Protests Could Be ‘Super-Spreading’ Coronavirus Events — Even With Masks, Lightfoot Says: The city was set to enter Phase 3 of reopening Wednesday, but that might now happen in the midst of protests, Lightfoot said.
Block Club Chicago
Kelly Bauer
June 1, 2020
news Protesters march on May 30, 2020 as protests occurred downtown Chicago for the second day and night in a row following George Floyd's death in Minneapolis earlier this week. COLIN BOYLE/BLOCK CLUB CHICAGO
As George Floyd protests heat up coronavirus crisis, 4 in Atlanta speak up and lead
USA Today
The Editorial Board, USA TODAY
June 1, 2020
news Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., on Capital Hill in December 2019. House Television Via AP
Could protests lead to an uptick in coronavirus infections?
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Nedra Rhone
June 1, 2020

Watch the video here
news, video Photo: Stephen B. Morton/Stephen B. Morton for The Atlant
Health Officials Worry Mass Protests Could Ignite Coronavirus Surge
Morning Edition, NPR
Allison Aubrey
June 1, 2020
news, audio NPR
Officials fear protests are ‘super-spreader’ events for coronavirus. Marchers say worth the risk
Los Angeles Times
Emily Alpert Reyes and Soumya Karlamangla
June 1, 2020
news Protesters wear masks during a demonstration on Sunday in downtown Los Angeles. L.A. County remains a hot spot amid the coronavirus outbreak.(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Surgeon General warns of coronavirus outbreaks from Floyd protests
Veronica Stracqualursi
June 2, 2020
news, video CNN politics
How to more safely protest in a pandemic: Tips for reducing the risk of spreading the coronavirus in a mass gathering, from public health experts.
Eliza Barclay
June 2, 2020
news, advice Protesters are at risk of retaliation from police as well as of contracting Covid-19. Stanton Sharpe/LightRocket/Getty Images
Duggan praises Detroiters for stemming violence, warns 'we're going to remain at risk'
The Detroit News
Christine Ferretti
June 2, 2020
news, photo slideshow Detroit deputy chief of police Todd Bettison wipes tears from his eyes with his mask after speaking at a press conference at Detroit Police Safety Headquarters, Tuesday. Bettison became emotional after speaking about kneeling with protesters during Sunday evening's protest. (Photo: David Guralnick, The Detroit News)
Could Massive Protests Lead To A Resurgence Of COVID-19 Cases In Chicago?
WBEZ Chicago, NPR
Mariah Woelfel
June 2, 2020
news Protests on Saturday, May 30, in Chicago after the death of George Floyd. Public health officials are concerned gatherings could spread COVID-19, but say time will tell. Katherine Nagasawa/WBEZ
Choosing between tragedies: Mass protests vs. coronavirus safety
San Francisco Chronicle
Erin Allday
June 2, 2020
news, image slideshow People confront a line of Oakland police officers at 8th and Clay streets Sunday during a protest spurred by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis a week earlier.Photo: Paul Kuroda / Special to The Chronicle
Frontline Dispatch, PBS
Max Green and James Edwards
June 2, 2020
news, audio The Frontline Dispatch
Anger Is the Message: An eruption of rage across the country is the response we need right now
Rolling Stone
Jerry Portwood
June 2, 2020
news Protesters rally against the death of George Floyd, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on May 31st, 2020.  Jeenah Moon/REUTERS
Protests Draw Shoulder-to-Shoulder Crowds After Months of Virus Isolation: Much of the country stayed inside, separated, as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Now protests are creating crowds, threatening a resurgence.
New York Times
Julie Bosman and Amy Harmon
Jun 2, 2020
news Demonstrators sat in the street outside of the Minnesota governor’s residence on Monday to protest the death of George Floyd in police custody.Credit...Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
Tony McDade was a black transgender man shot by police in May. Protesters are fighting to keep his memory alive. ‘Black trans people are erased and made invisible in society, but then we actually disappear in our deaths’
The Lily, The Washington Post
Cecilia Nowell
June 3, 2020
blog Protesters marched from the Stonewall Inn to Union Square, holding aloft signs reading "Black Lives Matter" and "Transphobia is White Supremacy." (Cecilia Nowell)
Protesters Hail Charges Against Police but Seek Broader Change
New York Times
June 3-9, 2020
news, video  Quincy Mason, center, at the site where his father, George Floyd, was killed.Credit...Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
The Pandemic and the Protests Police brutality, job losses, the coronavirus: Black Americans are bearing the brunt of all of it.
New York Times
Lisa Lerer
June 4, 2020
news Kirsten Luce for The New York Times
Protest, demand change — but, please, put on your mask
The Hill
Sara N. Bleich
June 4, 2020
opinion © Getty Images
Naming Racism || Radcliffe Institute
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University
Camara Phyllis Jones, David R. Williams, and Tomiko Brown Nagin
June 5, 2020
event, video The Radclifffe Institute
Tear-Gassing Protesters During An Infectious Outbreak Called 'A Recipe For Disaster'
Will Stone
June 5, 2020
news, audio Tear gas rises as protesters face off with police during a demonstration on May 31 outside the White House over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police. Samuel Corum/AFP via Getty Images
Racism is a deadly virus, too: A public health defense of these mass protests
Daily News
Mary Bassett, Caroline Buckee, and Nancy Krieger
June 5, 2020
opinion Pro-humanity vs. anti-science. (Wes Parnell/New York Daily News / AP/Paul Sancya)
Racism, coronavirus, and African Americans: Panel discusses long-festering wounds of racial inequities and possible steps forward
Harvard Gazette
Juan Siliezar
​June 5, 2020
news, panel, event n/a
Covid-19 Cases Were Already Rising Before the George Floyd Protests
June 5, 2020
Megan Molteni
news Covid-19 case rates were already rising in some states when businesses began to reopen. Then protests broke out nationwide. Now public health experts are worried about those two forces colliding.PHOTOGRAPH: CHANDAN KHANNA/GETTY IMAGES
George Floyd’s Autopsy and the Structural Gaslighting of America: The weaponization of medical language emboldened white supremacy with the authority of the white coat. How will we stop it from happening again?
Scientific American
Ann Crawford-Roberts, Sonya Shadravan, Jennifer Tsai, Nicolás E. Barceló, Allie Gips, Michael Mensah, Nichole Roxas, Alina Kung, Anna Darby, Naya Misa, Isabella Morton, and Alice Shen
June 6, 2020
blog A mural of George Floyd painted by the artists Donkeeboy and Donkeemom on the side of Scott Food Mart in Houston, Texas. Credit: Sergio Flores Getty Images
A Delicate Balance: Weighing Protest Against the Risks of the Coronavirus
New York Times
Amy Harmon and Rick Rojas
June 7, 2020
news Large crowds protested in Manhattan on Thursday.Credit...Simbarashe Cha for The New York Times
George Floyd Protests Add New Front Line for Coronavirus Doctors
New York Times
Emma Goldberg
June 7, 2020
news Mount Sinai nurses and doctors cheered on protesters at Union Square in Manhattan on Tuesday.Credit...Yuki Iwamura/Associated Press
‘Pandemic Within a Pandemic’: Coronavirus and Police Brutality Roil Black Communities
New York Times
Sheryl Gay Stolberg
June 8, 2020
news Protesters in New Orleans on Friday. Black Americans are bearing the brunt of three crises — police violence, crushing unemployment and the deadliest infectious disease threat in a century — that have laid bare longstanding injustice.Credit...Emily Kask for The New York Times
Teargassing Protesters during an Infectious Outbreak Is ‘a Recipe for Disaster’: Some scientists call for police to stop using the chemical irritants, which could increase the risk of spreading COVID-19
Scientific American
Will Stone
June 8, 2020
news A protester runs from tear gas launched from police near the California Incline during a protest against the killing of George Floyd. Protesters took to the streets of Los Angeles for the fifth day in a row in a stance against the killing of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. Credit: Stanton Sharpe Getty Images
It Doesn’t Look Like the Protests Are Causing a COVID-19 Spike: What does that mean for other outdoor activities?
Fred Kaplan
June 17, 2020
news A vigil for George Floyd at Foley Square in New York on May 29. Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images
What Minnesota’s Protests Are Revealing About Covid-19 Spread
Megan Molteni
June 18, 2020
Could protests cause COVID-19 spikes? Tough to tell.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University
June 22, 2020

Read the Scientific American article here
news  Large crowds gather in New York City to protest the death of George Floyd and police violence. Crowds of any kind could pose a risk of coronavirus transmission, although being outside and wearing masks may help. Credit: Ira L. Black Getty Images

“America’s Moment of Reckoning”: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor & Cornel West on Uprising Against Racism
Democracy Now!
Cornel West and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
July 3, 2020

news, video Democracy Now

Portland Mayor Tear Gassed After Speaking With Protesters on Presence of Federal Agents
Alta Spells and Josh Campbell
July 23, 2020

news, Video A federal officer pepper sprays a protester in front of the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse on July 20, 2020 in Portland, Oregon.

How Much Did Protests Contribute to Los Angeles' COVID-19 Surge?
Alex Mahadevan
July 23, 2020

news news, video news Thousands in Seattle last month protested the death of George Floyd. news The Christopher Columbus statue is transported after being removed from Grant Park in the early hours of Friday, July 24, 2020.

In the Wake of Protests