• Jillian McKoy

    Senior Writer/Editor SPH School News, Office of Communications and Marketing

    Jillian McKoy is a senior writer and editor in the SPH Office of Communications and Marketing; she can be reached at jpmckoy@bu.edu. Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 21 comments on Racism, Sexism, and the Crisis of Black Women’s Health

  1. This is a study I have been involved in for over 20 years. It is making a significant contribution that calls attention to health care disparities.

  2. I was so pleased to see this substantive article on black women’s health in Bostonia. The issues involved in black women’s health include all socioeconomic levels and women with professional and advanced degrees. It is important for Boston University not to lose its traditional social justice involvement in the black community.

  3. How can you blame one demographic’s failure on others? Black women may be unhealthy, but as a white male that is not my fault. To be healthy, you just need to eat healthy and exercise a little bit. No ones stopping you black women from doing that, respectfully.

    1. @Andrew Lerner.Did you even read the article or were you just triggered by the title. In what part of the article is there blaming of one demographic or you specifically . We need to eat better and exercise, really??! You just proved the point of the article in your bias and stereotyping of African American women. My mother was not overweight, 4’11 and 110 pounds to be exact nor did she eat unhealthy. Genetics and environmental determinants are factors.

      I stand on that if a practitioner male, female , white or any ethnicity cannot treat all patients with respect and honor the oath to do no harm perhaps they should find another field to work in.,respectfully.

      1. Why does the mention of health disparities among people of color vs white people always trigger someone to attack us?
        If the person has no ideas what it to suffer racism, sexism, over policing, poverty, inferior schools and housing, how can they make any comments about what we need to do. Unless you have walked in my shoes, please don’t give me your “advice “. Respectfully

        1. To add to that Lynne
          A lot of African Americans do exercise on a regular . I see it everyday. Do we all exercise on a regular? Not always and it has nothing to do with being lazy. As far as racism goes. African Americans just can’t go out for a run. First thing someone is thinking is that we are running from something, we are stealing, we are in the wrong neighborhood, or we just might get shot. May you Rest in Peace Aubrey. So until you experience racism, you will continue to see things in a way that fits only your perspective because you cannot know anything truly unless you experience it.

    2. Interestingly, this is the approach you chose to take when the article does not blame a specific race for Black women’s health risks. You mention to be healthy one simply needs to eat healthy and exercise correct? How are individuals living in food deserts able to eat healthily when they do not have access to healthy foods? Perhaps you should conduct further research on the matter before making such false accusations, respectfully.

  4. For nearly 28 years, I have been a proud participant in the BWHS. It is my hope that the research will have a tremendous impact on the future of black women’s health.

  5. There are many disparities in the healthcare field when it comes to providing black women the proper medical attention they wish to receive. It is great that this study is being done to spread awareness on the injustices black women face in the healthcare field. It is also interesting that black women are more susceptible to develop Alziehmers disease than white women

  6. I greatly appreciate BUWH’s dedication to addressing the significant gap in research regarding the relationship between race, gender, and health. Research centered on the intersection of ethnicity and health has been an interest and passion of mine for quite some time now. The findings listed in this article have only further inspired me to catalyze social change for black women in the healthcare industry. As a black female student here at BU, I find it extremely heartwarming to see BUWH raise awareness about the disparities and inequities in healthcare while sourcing the public with powerful statistics. For example, I would have never known that Black women are more likely to die from several conditions such as cancers, lupus, and hypertension than other ethnic groups. I was shocked to read that “black women are less likely than white women to get breast cancer but 40% more likely to die if they develop it.” Although I was already aware of the negative bias toward black women in health, I did not have a full grasp on the science behind it. I’m sure the same goes for many who have read this article and I hope that results of BUWH study continue to educate the BU community on the struggles of black female patients such as Kim Bressant Kibwe. Reading her story truly made the data come to life and personalized the logical discussion behind the mistreatment of black female patients. In all, my biggest takeaway from this article lies in the following quote from McKoy: “racism and other stressors may be much stronger predictions of poor health than individual choices or genetic differences.

  7. Such a wealth of information, thank you. I’ve been a participant since the beginning and will continue to be. In talking with friends, I believe it’s very important to take someone with you to a health appointment or for testing. I think this for various reasons. Sometimes you don’t hear all that’s being said and may not understand it all. We need to advocate for ourselves and demand the respect that’s due to us. But that can be difficult when you’re going through testing or at an appointment, many emotions can be present and it helps to have someone there to advocate for you. We must be there for one another!

  8. I have been a part of bwhs for years
    Knowledge awareness and information helps one to make more informed decisions about their health.
    This article was very informative. I learned blacks are more prone to get Alzheimers than whites. My mother died from this disease.
    Keep doing the great work and who knows maybe the why can be answered.

    Thank you for providing and arming us with knowledge.

  9. I have been with this study since its inception. I am now 71 and so very proud of being a contributor to the body of research on the health and well-being of Black women. As a result of my participation, I have learned to be far more proactive about my own health. For as long as I have breath in this body, I will continue to do my part so that positive health outcomes for Black women will be the norm.

  10. Iam a proud member of the BWHS. The information obtained has always been shared with the participants, helping us to follow medical recommendations that can improve Black women’s health. Some of the findings also show that the symptoms can be harder to treat when patients face environmental impacts such as living in areas that have refineries nearby or companies that openly and callously pollute the towns or suburban areas that are in the vicinity. I am thankful that more women are becoming Doctors. The women Doctors listen to their patients. They are not dismissive or inpatient when their patients discuss their medical concerns or ailments.

  11. I have been a participant in this study since the beginning. I am so grateful that this study exists, that black women as a group are being studied and cared about. I was in my mid thirties when it began and am now in my early sixties. I now have a few health challenges that I am glad to report, especially because it will help to study and improve our health. Again, so thankful and grateful to all who make this study happen.

  12. I’ve proudly participated in BWHS since the beginning. As a result I’m more aware of the risks associated with my race, the best news is due to this heightened awareness I’m intentionally focused on doing all I can to stay healthy (which is a promise I made my three children many years ago). I thank God that at age 70 I’m not taking any medications (I do take vitamin c and iron).

    I’m very pleased to know the information I share with BWHS is helping other women as well.

    I really respect and appreciate the work/research being conducted by BWHS.

    Thank you for your dedication and communication, much appreciated.

  13. I have been involved in the BWHS since its inception. As a nurse, my purpose was to contribute to studies that would support change in the way medicine has overlooked and marginalized black women. As a black female patient and a nurse since the 1970s, I have seen and been exposed to the difficulties we encounter. I train nurses on how to diagnose SDOH and provide services and support. This study provides the evidence-based research necessary to demand better services.

  14. I have been a part of BWHS since the beginning. At 58, I feel this is the only way for Black women and the world to become more aware and improve our health practices. I have one daughter. If I can do anything to improve her lifespan I will. Thank You all so much for studying to improve our lives.

  15. Ive been a participant in the BWHS since the inception and am honored to be a part of such a informative study . Systemic racism has been a part of Black peoples total experience since the beginning of this USA. Not only in health care ,but in very facet of their lives. Like the article states, it affects very part of us. White people do not have a clue, what it means to be discriminated against simply by the color of their skin. When you have money, partners, quality housing and neighborhoods, good schools, good health care and opportunities, you have no idea what its like to suffer and feel stuck. Even the empathetic few, still don’t understand unless you live it. Prayerfully, one day we can all share fairly in the so called American dream. Thank you founders for the magnificent work you have done in bringing attention to our plight and educating the public.

  16. I have been in this study since the beginning and I’m thankful to have been blessed to reach the age of 58 . I am truly amazed of how far this study has come and with positive women black and white who are willing to research and study why certain things come about and what we can do to make it right. Sometimes, we have to forgive others who just don’t understand and don’t care unless it their family members which just very well may be either now or in the future. So, let’s pray that out of their ignorance that God bless them with wisdom and understanding of all people of the human race.

  17. As one of many original participants I so appreciate the BWHS, as it has opened my eyes to the importance of the medical & racial disparities and resolutions in our communities to so many unanswered questions surrounding our health. As our parents, grandparents, etc took healthcare providers at their word, yet, we see and have experienced still that second opinions, asking all the right questions, doing our own research, and more importantly praying for discernment & guidance in making the right decisions regarding our health, the food we eat, the medicines we take, exercise, etc. are vitally & medically important.
    We have been witnessing more & more lately that our health has really not been as important to many Healthcare providers of whom fo not look like us. From expectant mothers dying in childbirth, the rise &/or exposure to proper treatment for heart disease, cancer, alopecia, lupus, COVID-19, diabetes, etc. we must take control of our well being, our health, our survival for ourselves and our families. Ask the questions, research, eating healthy w/more fresh fruits & vegetables. Going back to farming our own food the way our lineage did is a must.
    Thank you BWHS for continuing to research, educate, and inform so many that opens the door of not only curiosity but necessity we wouldn’t get from our healthcare providers. I now ask the hard questions, review my records & research my findings. Continued success in your research, blessings & good health!!!

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