While we are glad to have the opportunity to share resources surrounding the history, oppression, resilience, and achievements of Black individuals throughout Black History Month, we recognize that the path to equity and inclusion is one that requires work year-round. It is with this thought in mind that we would like to share a few resources and readings around Black History and racial equity.
Smithsonian Anacostia Neighborhood Museum – Adams Morgan
This virtual exhibit from the Smithsonian Anacostia Neighborhood Museum features the history of the Adams Morgan neighborhood, where Christ House is located.
“This was the beginning of the concept of Adams-Morgan: you have two schools, the Morgan School, which was in this area and predominantly attended by blacks. And you had the Adams School in the western section of the area, where more of the whites and affluent people attended school. So the principals of the schools said, ‘Let’s take a initiative in leadership. Why don’t we form a coalition and work about bringing this idea of integration?’ This started back in the 50’s, right after the law was passed and they mandated integration in the public schools.”
-Edward G. Jackson, Sr.
Rosa Hatfield: Community Champion
“People who knew her say Rosa was a fierce spirit who demanded truth. She often accompanied Jim Rouse on speaking engagements. Audiences were captivated by her opening talks and speeches and led so many to join the work of Jubilee Housing.”
The Tuskegee Syphilis Study – Anti-Racism Daily
“In 1932, 600 men were invited to participate in a research study with the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) to find a cure for syphilis. Participants were offered free medical care for their participation – and many participants, sharecroppers who had never had the chance to receive medical care before, signed up eagerly. Throughout their lifetime, men were monitored regularly by health officials and were assured they were being treated. But in reality, they were part of a sick experiment: the PHS was only watching to track the disease’s full progression untreated.”
Daniel Hale Williams
During Black History Month, we at Christ House featured a bulletin board where patients, Kairos members, and staff could write down who their Black heroes and icons are. One response was Daniel Hale Williams, one of the first doctors in the US to perform open-heart surgery.
“Due to the discrimination of the day, African American citizens were still barred from being admitted to hospitals and Black doctors were refused staff positions. Firmly believing this needed to change, in May 1891, Williams opened Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses, the nation’s first hospital with a nursing and intern program that had a racially integrated staff.”
“The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused Black Americans to view researchers–and indeed the whole medical establishment–with such deep distrust.”
Racial Disparities in Home Appreciation
“Segregation, disparate access to credit and homeownership, and the consistent devaluation of homes in black neighborhoods combine to constrict the ability of African Americans to build equity and accumulate wealth through homeownership.”
Racial Equity in Healthcare & Homelessness
Equity is the Answer All Along – National Alliance to End Homelessness
“Those of us in the field must seek to understand the intersection of racial trauma and the trauma of homelessness.”
“Today, work done with HeLa cells underpins much of modern medicine; they have been involved in key discoveries in many fields, including cancer, immunology and infectious disease. One of their most recent applications has been in research for vaccines against COVID-19. But the story of Henrietta Lacks also illustrates the racial inequities that are embedded in the US research and health-care systems. Lacks was a Black woman. The hospital where her cells were collected was one of only a few that provided medical care to Black people. None of the biotechnology or other companies that profited from her cells passed any money back to her family.”
Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy
“In this powerful, moving, and deeply empathic book, Tweedy explores the challenges confronting black doctors, and the disproportionate health burdens faced by black patients, ultimately seeking a way forward to better treatment and more compassionate care.”
The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health
“This book is an exploration of Black mental health in today’s world, the forces that have undermined mental health progress for African Americans, and what needs to happen for African Americans to heal psychological distress, find community, and undo years of stigma and marginalization in order to access effective mental health care.”
Race, Place, and Structural Racism: A Review of Health & History in Washington, DC
“To improve population health, it is imperative to identify and examine the policies, practices, and events that have sustained and continue to undergird racial inequities. In this historical review we illustrate how structural racism and historical events socially, economically, and politically disenfranchised Black residents in Washington, D.C., yielding stark differences in health outcomes by race and place.”
National Racial Equity Working Group
“The National Racial Equity Working Group is made up of more than 30 national organizations committed to centering racial equity in the response to homelessness across the United States.”
Ibram X. Kendi
Professor Ibram X. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research, a professor of history and international relations, and a leading voice on American racist history and policy. At age 34, he became the youngest person to win the National Book Award for Nonfiction for his book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. His next book, How to be an Anti-Racist, is part memoir and part visionary guide to becoming an anti-racist. His writings offer many provocative ways of thinking about racism.
“I think the first thing is an antiracist is looking out upon their society, in their everyday life, and seeing the racial groups as equal … They become part of that struggle to challenge racist policies, and they either become part of that struggle through donating their time … [or] they donate and finance those campaigns and movements and organizations. … Fundamentally, an antiracist is a part of the struggle that is challenging racism on an everyday basis.”
“Each day, we offer an overview on current events and apply an anti-racism lens. Learn how practices embedded in our politics, criminal justice system, and workplaces enforce systemic oppression – and what you can do about it.”