Black Lives Matter in health promotion: moving from unspoken to outspoken
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonHealth Promotion International. 2021, 36 (4), 1160-1169 10.1093/heapro/daaa121
Racism is a public health crisis. Black communities (including Africans, the African diaspora and people of African descent) experience worse health outcomes as demonstrated by almost any measure of health and wellbeing—e.g. life expectancy; disease prevalence; maternal mortality rates. While health promotion has its foundation in promoting equity and social justice, it is clear that however well-intended, we are not affecting meaningful change for Black communities quickly enough. Through this article, we outline the intersection of social determinants of health and anti-Black racism. We describe how in the first 8 months of 2020 Black communities around the globe have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, while also having to respond to new instances of police brutality. We assert that the time has come for health promotion to stop neutralizing the specific needs of Black communities into unspoken ‘good intentions’. Instead, we offer some concrete ways for the field to become outspoken, intentional and honest in acknowledging what it will take to radically shift how we promote health and wellbeing for Black people.