Read the Latest BACW Newsletter
We are strong. I know we will come through this together. Whereas now there is despair, desperation and death, there will someday soon be recovery, renewal and life. I anticipate things will change. Perhaps online grocery shopping and virtual doctor visits will grow in popularity. We may also see a higher occurrence of daily hand-washing as a result of our new habits. But who is the “we” who will get through COVID-19 together? More importantly, will “we” all get through this in the same way? While a collective impact brings us together, does that same collective impact separate us more?
Most of the “we” have never been in an African-American home, neighborhood or business. By now, most of us have seen the numbers. The race-related data surrounding the coronavirus speaks loudly in a system that typically seeks to be quiet or silent in acknowledging health, education and economic disparities among African-Americans. For example, it has been reported:
- African-Americans make up almost half of Milwaukee County’s nearly 1,000 cases and 81% of its 27 deaths as of last Friday, despite black people accounting for 26% of its population, according to a study by ProPublica.
- In Michigan, African-Americans make up 14% of the population, but they account for 33% of positive cases and 41% of deaths.
- In hard-hit Louisiana, more than 70% of the people who have died of COVID-19 are black, despite making up only 32% of the Gulf state’s population.
To read more about the physical and mental seclusion of communities of color during this time, as well as the pandemic’s impact on faith-based leaders, ways in which organizations are working together to address new community needs and much more, read the latest BACW newsletter.