Higher Mortality Rates for All Races in Communities With High Levels of Racial Prejudice

No HateA new study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and Harvard University finds that both Blacks and Whites who live in communities with a high level of racial prejudice have higher mortality rates. The research included surveys of more than 11,000 people on racial attitudes conducted between 1993 and 2002. These results were compared to death records in the communities where then survey respondents lived.

The data showed that communities with a higher level of anti-Black prejudice had a death rate for people of all races that averaged 24 percent higher than in communities with low levels of racial prejudice. The authors of the study conclude that “living in a highly prejudiced community had similar harmful effects among both Blacks and Whites. Community-level racial prejudice may disrupt social capital, and reduced social capital is associated with increased mortality risk among both Whites and Blacks.”

The article, “Effects of Racial Prejudice on the Health of Communities: A Multilevel Survival Analysis,” was published on the website of the American Journal of Public Health. It may be accessed here.


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  1. of course this makes sense. there seems to be this pervasive “american” myth that imperialist, capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy only affect black people negatively. the truth is that we ALL suffer (and let’s not leave out native/first americans, asians and latinos who also live in this country). dr. joy de gruy-leary out of oregon does a wonderful job explaining the negative fallout of slavery (and the way it’s been swept under the rug as though it never happened) in her seminal work on post-traumatic slavery syndrome.

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