Despite the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 and how the pandemic has exacerbated the influence of systemic racism on Black communities, their voices are nearly absent from critical conversations. The current project, Black and Essential, aims to address this discrepancy by examining data highlighting Black individuals’ experiences amid the pandemic. Too often, programs and policies aimed at addressing crucial issues, including food insecurity, access to healthcare, and mental health treatment, lack direct response and relevant criticism from the community. Black Americans’ access to vital services, such as healthcare, childcare, and public health resources, is vital. This work will explore the protective factors and coping mechanisms adopted by the group, such as familial support and community engagement, and bring Black Americans’ expertise to the table as discussions begin, programs are implemented, and money is deployed, addressing the systemic inequalities that impact society.
Assistant Professor, Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University and A&M College