Racism, police violence and the toll on Black mental health

The drumbeat of it all has seemed never ending.

Ongoing police violence against Black men and women has inflamed racial tensions. A global pandemic has killed Black people in disproportionately high numbers. And these extraordinary traumas come to a community whose mental and physical health already suffer because of anti-Black sentiment.

The suffocation of George Floyd under the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis ignited a summer of national reckoning on race. Sacramento activist Jamilia Land summed up the anguish: “How do you heal a wound that never closes?”

In the Black community, living with those open wounds comes at a heavy mental and physical cost that researchers and mental health experts continue to assess.

La Tanya Takla, a psychologist and family therapist, focused solely on her private practice in Sacramento this summer as a growing number of African Americans sought her help to cope with the stress

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These Virtual Mental Health Resources for Black Women Can Make All the Difference

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

From Cosmopolitan

If you need mental health assistance right now, call the NAMI Helpline at 800-950-NAMI or text “NAMI” to 741741.

Black lives matter, and so does Black mental health. The Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health reports that African Americans are 10 percent more likely to experience serious psychological distress. At the same time, only 30 percent of African American adults with mental illnesses get help each year, which is below the U.S. average of 43 percent.

Racism and racial trauma continue to affect the mental well-being of Black people, who already face so many obstacles when it comes to receiving mental health treatment. As the National Alliance on Mental Illness stated, “Racism is a public health crisis.”

If you feel like the continued incidents of police brutality, the demoralizing legal proceedings like in Breonna Taylor’s case, and the lack of justice for

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Black, Hispanic and American Indian Children Make Up 78 Percent of All Youth Coronavirus Deaths

Black, Hispanic and American Indian children are dying due to COVID-19 at a disproportionally higher rate than their white peers, a new Centers for Disease Control study found.

While children are significantly less likely than adults to die from COVID-19, minority youth represent 78 percent of current fatalities.

For this study, the CDC tracked all known pediatric COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. for the first time and found that between February and July, there have been at least 391,814 cases and 121 deaths in people under 21 years old.

Of those 121 deaths, Black, Hispanic and American Indian children accounted for over three-quarters, despite making up just 41 percent of the U.S. population under 21. Hispanic children had the highest rate of death, at 44 percent, followed by Black children at 29 percent and 4 percent for both American Indian and Asian or Pacific Islander children. White children

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How Retailers Should Prep for a Weird Black Friday

(Bloomberg Opinion) — The pandemic and its economic fallout are going to make it exceedingly difficult for retailers to have a merry Christmas. The industry is expected to see an uptick in seasonal sales of a measly 1% to 1.5%, according to a forecast released Tuesday by Deloitte, which would be well below the 4.1% increase the industry recorded last year.  

New shopping patterns that are a reaction to Covid-19 have rendered retailers’ old holiday playbooks useless.  Big names such as Walmart Inc. and Best Buy Co. have already acknowledged as much by announcing that they will close their brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving, the day that has served as the kickoff for Black Friday deals for the last decade or so. Macy’s Inc., which aims to whip up seasonal cheer with its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, has announced the festivities will be reworked for a mostly television audience.

The essence

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Black women again turn to midwives, some fearing coronavirus in hospitals

Midwife Kiki Jordan examines TaNefer Camara during a routine postnatal visit about a week after the birth of her son Esangu. In centuries past, Black midwives often functioned as spiritual advisers and parenting teachers as well as birth attendants. <span class="copyright">(Rachel Scheier / California Healthline)</span>
Midwife Kiki Jordan examines TaNefer Camara during a routine postnatal visit about a week after the birth of her son Esangu. In centuries past, Black midwives often functioned as spiritual advisers and parenting teachers as well as birth attendants. (Rachel Scheier / California Healthline)

From the moment she learned she was pregnant late last year, TaNefer Camara knew she didn’t want to have her baby in a hospital bed.

A mother of three and part-time lactation consultant at Highland Hospital in Oakland, Camara already knew a bit about childbirth. She wanted to deliver at home, surrounded by her family, into the hands of an experienced female birth worker, as her female ancestors once did. And she wanted a Black midwife.

It took the COVID-19 pandemic to get her husband onboard.

“Up until then, he was like, ‘You’re crazy. We’re going to the hospital,’” she said.

As the pandemic has laid

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Schools that are mostly Black, Latino favor starting online

Missi Magness wanted her children back in school.

The parent of a first-grader and a sixth-grader who attend schools on Indianapolis’ southeast side struggled trying to oversee her children’s schooling while working from home this spring.

“They need the structure, they need the socialization, they just need to go,” said Magness. “‘I love you, but here’s your backpack, here’s your lunch … have a good day!’”

Many other local parents agreed. Now, their school district, Franklin Township — where two-thirds of the 10,000 students are white, as is Magness — has allowed younger children to return to school buildings full time.

But two districts over, it’s a different story. In Indianapolis Public Schools, where nearly three-quarters of about 26,000 students in traditional public schools are Black and Hispanic, the school year started virtually — despite relying on the same local health guidance as Franklin Township.

That dynamic is playing out

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During pandemic, Black families put trust in Black doctors

JACKSON, Miss. — Dr. Janice Bacon was exactly the person Kay McField hoped to talk to when she found herself spending most of her days in bed, feeling too depressed to get up as the coronavirus pandemic threatened those around her.

As she watched those closest to her test positive for the virus — a goddaughter and her uncle, whom she cares for, among them — McField said she was terrified that she or her daughter, who both suffer from autoimmune diseases, would fall ill. When she wasn’t in bed, the 51-year-old single mother was cleaning her house compulsively.

“It was just this constant panic,” she said, her arms pressed to her chest. “I wanted to talk to someone I knew was going to listen, who I could trust.”

A Black primary care physician practicing in Mississippi for nearly four decades, Bacon works at an all-African American-run trio of community

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USC Professor Placed on Leave after Black Students Complained His Pronunciation of a Chinese Word Affected Their Mental Health

The University of Southern California has placed a communications professor on leave after a group of black MBA candidates threatened to drop his class rather than “endure the emotional exhaustion of carrying on with an instructor that disregards cultural diversity and sensitivities” following the instructor’s use of a Chinese word that sounds like a racial slur while teaching.

Greg Patton, a professor at the university’s Marshall School of Business, was giving a lecture about the use of “filler words” in speech during a recent online class when he used the word in question, saying, “If you have a lot of ‘ums and errs,’ this is culturally specific, so based on your native language. Like in China, the common word is ‘that, that, that.’ So in China it might be ‘nèi ge, nèi ge, nèi ge.’”

In an August 21 email to university administration obtained by National Review, students accused

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The Mental Health Trauma of the Black Maternal Mortality Crisis

Inequality is rampant throughout the health care system: Women of color are more likely to die of breast cancer, heart disease, and COVID-19, and more likely to report chronic, severe anxiety. There are many reasons—gaps in biomedical research, deliberate discrimination and racism, lack of resources, lack of empathy—all of which come to a head when a Black woman gets pregnant. Black women in the United States are three to five times more likely to die from pregnancy or postpartum issues than white women, a maternal mortality crisis that cannot be ignored. In Glamour’s Black Maternal Health series, we’re sharing these stories—and solutions.

Freedom Smith was scared to scream during childbirth. She was a 21-year-old single mother-to-be with no insurance, no family support, and no stable prenatal care, and the words of the staff in the maternity ward had weighed heavily on her mind. “I had a

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Kenosha will keep burning until the cop who shot Jacob Blake is fired or arrested, local Black Lives Matter activists say: ‘People are mad’

A local Black Lives Matter organizer says Kenosha, Wisconsin, will keep being destroyed until the city announces the firing of the police officer who shot Jacob Blake. 

<p class=Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY via REUTERS

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A local Black Lives Matter organizer says Kenosha, Wisconsin, will keep being destroyed until the city announces the firing of the police officer who shot Jacob Blake.
  • At least one police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot Jacob Blake, 29, in the back at least seven times on Sunday.

  • Blake’s shooting — in the middle of nationwide protests against police brutality — prompted protests and riots in the city on Sunday night.

  • A Kenosha Black Lives Matter organizer said she had been encouraging investigators to be transparent with the public about actions against the cops involved — and she fears that if they aren’t, the city will continue to burn.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Whitney Cabal, a Black Lives Matter organizer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was three

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