As the country - and the world - mourns the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the cruel killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ahmaud Arbrey in Georgia, and the long history of cruelty to Black people in the United States, it is important that we take pause to reflect and listen. As Faculty of Medicine Dean George Daley made clear in his message to the HMS community over the weekend, this violence and the disproportionate harm to the Black community from COVID-19 share a common cause: deeply ingrained (structural) racism. Learn more about Harvard Medical School’s work on this front by visiting the HMS Diversity Statement and our mission and values.
The American Medical Association statement “Police brutality must stop” recognizes that violence between law enforcement and the public is a critical determinant of health and calls for research into its public health consequences. In another statement, David Skorton, MD (AAMC president and CEO) and David Acosta, MD (AAMC chief diversity and inclusion officer) proclaim that, "racism is antithetical to the oaths and moral responsibilities we accepted as health professionals who have dedicated our lives to advancing the health of all." Speaking on behalf of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), Karen West, DMD, MPH, offered a "pledge to work ... to help achieve a society free of discrimination and full of opportunity for all." The American Public Health Association statement states strongly that “racism is an ongoing public health crisis that needs our attention now!”
It is the responsibility of every one of us to educate ourselves and actively work to dismantle racism. As Countway Library Director Elaine Martin put it earlier today, "I am not Ok with this. It's OK if you are not OK with this too."
The following resources are suggested tools to help the Longwood community with this project. It is not exhaustive and tries to focus on works that address racism as a health issue. Some books may be more easily accessed through a public library, such as the Boston Public Library (information on signing up for a card). If there are other titles that should be part of the library collection, share them with us using Ask Countway.
Page content last updated August 2020.
A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind
Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism
Safiya Umoja Noble
An African American and Latinx History of the United States
Between the World and Me
Black and Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism
Black Man in a White Coat
Breathing Race Into the Machine
Citizen: An American Lyric
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race...
The Fire Next Time
How to Be an Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi
John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
The New Jim Crow
Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth
So You Want to Talk About Race
Stamped from the Beginning
Ibram X. Kendi
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
Beverly Daniel Tatum
Women, Race, & Class
Your Black Friend and Other Strangers
HMS Global Health and Social Medicine, Blavatink Institute
“The Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Blavatnik Institute, Harvard Medical School, held a webinar series around COVID-19 and the implications of health and social medicine both in our community and globally.”
“Ava DuVernay's examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country's history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.”
Includes a study guide and additional resources
"It is more urgent than ever to finally abandon this backward legacy," Roberts says, "and to affirm our common humanity by ending the social inequalities that truly divide us."
Articles & Websites
HMS Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership
Ongoing, curated collection of webinars, news, funding opportunities and more related to COVID-19 and health disparities.
Nikole Hannah-Jones | The New York Times Magazine
"The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery."
Ibram X. Kendi | The New York Times
A broader, more academic reading list than typically presented.
Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein
Direct link to a Google Doc curated in May 2020 and includes resources for all ages. May be particularly helpful for those working with children.
Nieblas-Bedolla, Edwin MPH; Christophers, Briana; Nkinsi, Naomi T.; Schumann, Paul D.; Stein, Elizabeth
An open access call to action to medical education to adopt antiracist practices, published in Academic Medicine.
A medical education non-profit that includes brief online education modules on the role of race in medicine.
Published in the wake of Charlottesville in 2017, this remains a valuable article and is particularly relevant now in early June 2020.
A collection of books, films, and other digital resources curated by the HKS Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging and Library & Knowledge Services.
An interdisciplinary hub focused on building a world “where collective healing and justice are at the center of health and well-being.”
One of many articles discussing the stark racial disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ibram X. Kendi
A powerful essay from Dr. Kendi in the wake of Ahmaud Arbery's unjust death.