Magnifying Inequality: How Black Women Found Safety in the Midst of Dual Pandemics

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Journal of Social Issues

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COVID-19, Black women -- America -- Social conditions


In 2020, COVID-19 in tandem with racial tensions spurred by various occurrences throughout the nation proved detrimental to minoritized persons. Black women, who are often the heads of households, familial and communal caregivers, and organizers, were tasked with protecting themselves, their families, and their communities from racialized violence and infection. This article explores the idea of safety and the responsibilities of Black women to ensure, secure, and maintain safety. The intersection of these two forces creates dual inequities. Whether sacrificing safety for the sake of racial equality or experiencing medical racism while seeking treatment for COVID-19, the duality of Being black and a woman during two prevalent threats exacerbate existing inequities. Using symbolic interactionism to illustrate the function of structures and roles in defining Black women’s positionality and intersectionality to examine the policies and systems that act on the lives of these women, we discuss the ways in which Black women created safety for themselves and their families at the intersection of both threats emphasizing the inequity in home, health, and financial outcomes among Black women.



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