Impact of racism on Black Americans’ health

Interviewed by CBS’s 60 Minutes, Dr. David R. Williams, Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health and chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, speaks about how racism is negatively impacting Black Americans’ health and people of color’s health around the word.

“We’ve done studies in South Africa. There’re colleagues doing studies in Australia, studies in the U.K., studies across the world,” he says. “And we find in all of these contexts, empirically, statistically that experiences of discrimination are directly impacting health.”

Dr. Williams explains the “Everyday Discrimination Scale“, a test that he has created to measure racism such as receiving less courtesy, receiving less respect, and being perceived as less intelligent. “What we are finding is that persons who score high on the Everyday Discrimination Scale have a broad range of adverse health conditions. It predicts high blood pressure. It predicts the onset of diabetes. It predicts incidence of cardiovascular disease. It predicts poorer mental health.”

Watch the full interview (Transcript).