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Pandemic Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Why African Americans Were More Likely to Die During the 1918 Flu Pandemic

Why African Americans Were More Likely to Die During the 1918 Flu Pandemic

By Commentaries/Opinions, COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

By Rodney A. Brooks — When it came to getting healthcare during the 1918 influenza epidemic, America’s Black communities, hobbled by poverty, Jim Crow segregation and rampant discrimination, were mostly forced to fend for themselves. Opportunities for hospital care proved scarce, leaving many relying on family care and, where available, the small but burgeoning ranks of Black nurses. When the 1918 influenza epidemic began, African Americans were already beset by a barrage of social, medical…

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