Here and Now...and Tomorrow: Black Community Battles Coronavirus Surge As Crises Loom Closer

A state-by-state look at COVID-19 racial disparities, the pandemic's long-lasting impact on children, experts debate who should receive vaccine first, LGBTQ community in Jamaica speaks out & more.

Speak Patrice Presents: Coronavirus News for Black Folks is an independent newsletter that aims to empower our community by sharing coronavirus (COVID-19) news and stories as they relate to the Black Diaspora. We have 1,825 subscribers as of July 22, 2020.

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📍Must-Read Stories

Minorities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. This is how it varies by state.

“Out of the 47 states that report the race of COVID-19 victims, the most disproportionately high COVID-19 mortality rate was born by Black or African Americans in 35 states, American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) residents in five states, Asian Americans in four states, white residents in two states, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) in one state.”

Black Families Were Hit Hard by the Pandemic. The Effects on Children May Be Lasting.

“Setbacks in household wealth and the toxic stress of racism can have long-term effects, experts said.”

Who Gets a Vaccine First? U.S. Considers Race in Coronavirus Plans

“Agency officials and the advisers are also considering what has become a contentious option: putting Black and Latino people, who have disproportionately fallen victim to Covid-19, ahead of others in the population.”

'Work to do' as coronavirus hits LGBT+ Jamaicans hard

“An online survey of 213 LGBT+ people carried out in April by Kingston-based advocacy group J-Flag found almost one in four had lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic and 29% were unable to pay rent and other bills.”

Black, Latino and poor people are less likely to get $1,200 coronavirus stimulus checks, new report says

“The report cited various reasons for the disparities, such as some people having no bank account or lacking access to the internet. Among Latinos, some adults may have been ineligible because they or their spouse were undocumented or did not qualify as residents of the United States…”

Black people make up less than 2 percent of Maine's population but account for nearly a quarter of its coronavirus cases

“Two of the state’s 115 coronavirus deaths have been among black Mainers, who health officials said tend to be younger and less likely to exhibit symptoms of the virus’s disease, covid-19. But advocates for immigrants say many have been ill…”

Black Mayors Call For Governors To Let Them Enforce Rules To Fight COVID-19

“The move comes on the heels of a lawsuit by Gov. Brian Kemp against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for requiring masks.”

RELATED: OP-ED: America’s Black female mayors face dual crises of COVID-19 and protests–but these women are used to uphill battles

🇺🇸 National News

What Coronavirus Job Losses Reveal About Racism in America

“National unemployment numbers that now seem unprecedented for workers as a whole have been a daily reality for many Black communities for decades. See how different groups have experienced unemployment in the graphic below.”

Black mental health patients hit hard by COVID-19, social injustice: 'We were already at a breaking point'

“…Jackson believes we're only seeing a small fraction of what the real mental health fallout will be, especially in the Black community.”

Essential Workers Hold Walkouts And Protests In National 'Strike For Black Lives'

"The labor movement is owning that until Black communities can thrive, none of us can thrive."

Breaking down the toll of Philly’s coronavirus hospitalizations by race, age, and neighborhood

“…Black patients accounted for 58% of hospitalizations, compared with 17% for white patients, 14% for Hispanic patients, and 4% for Asian patients…”

Milwaukee in Pain: Filmmaker highlights issues facing African American community due to COVID-19

“Rogers says five members of his extended family have died from COVID-19. He's seen first hand how it can have an impact.”

Facing ‘a Lot of Blowback,’ Trump’s Surgeon General Steps Up

“He’s an African American working for a man routinely accused of racism, and he is a scientist in an administration that has shown contempt for science.”

How Covid-19 Killed Live Shows and Rappers’ Incomes

“Perhaps worse than the dent Covid-19 has put in artists’ wallets is the ceiling it placed on the growth of a crop of newcomers, just as they were primed to truly breakthrough to a wider audience. After all, interest is made on the charts — but stars are made on the road.”

While at Home, Black Hairstylists Return to Their Roots

“As COVID-19 brought the world to a pause, many professional Black hairstylists returned to this tradition of creating at home. Instead of high-profile red carpets or clients at the salon, they are braiding up family members, styling mannequins, even experimenting on themselves.”

6 Black Makeup Artists Talk About Adjusting To The 'New Normal' Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

“Professional makeup artists reflect on how they’ve learned to pivot in a post-COVID-19 world.”

How a Brooklyn Artist Is Making Black Women Her Focus

“The drawings — made with color pencils on brown paper — comprise Ms. Brown’s Essential Worker series, a collection drawn with an intimacy that makes the viewers feel as if they too know the subject. It’s not just their jobs that are depicted through the lines and colors, but their panache.”

🌍 Global News

Total Coronavirus Deaths In Latin America, Caribbean Pass U.S., Canada Death Toll

“United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned last week that Latin America and the Caribbean had emerged as a viral hotspot, adding that the pandemic could lead to a decline of 9.1% in the regional GDP, which would be the biggest drop in 100 years.”

Fears of HIV spike in Jamaica as pandemic hits prevention efforts

“Campaigners fear the impact of COVID-19 on treatment and on education and prevention efforts could mean a spike in new HIV infections or in deaths in Jamaica.”

Brazil hospitals overwhelmed as coronavirus cases cross 2 million

“Hospitals in Brazil are struggling to cope with an influx of coronavirus patients, as confirmed cases have crossed the two million mark in the world's second-worst hit nation by the pandemic.”

Coronavirus: Zimbabwe arrests 100,000 for 'violations' of measures

“More than 105,000 people have been arrested in Zimbabwe since March for violating regulations aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, police say. Around 1,000 were arrested in the last two days for "unnecessary movement" or for not wearing face masks, they add.”

Covid-19 impact on ethnic minorities linked to housing and air pollution (UK)

“The research is the first to examine the role of environmental and housing deprivation. Doctors praised the study but cautioned it has yet to be formally reviewed by other scientists and that additional, detailed studies in other areas are urgently needed.”

Caribbean nations selling citizenship to Americans due to tourism decline

“…Caribbean nations are selling citizenship to Americans, and others, with the cost as low as $100,000 in Antigua and Barbuda.”


For contact tracing to work, public health authorities must regain the trust of Black communities

“For any large-scale digital contact tracing system to work, people need to trust that their data will be handled safely. But the protests against police violence and racism have highlighted that trust in authorities isn’t something that is widely felt in America right now.”

Why some Kenyans still deny coronavirus exists

“Today, despite more than 11,000 cases of Covid-19 and 200 deaths in Kenya, there are those who still say that the virus does not exist - from the gentleman who cleaned my vehicle last week insisting that it is the biggest lie of our time to fellow journalists saying that it is nothing more than a prolonged flu.”

During the pandemic, there are no winners in pickup basketball

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues with no end in sight, I’m sending a distress signal to my brothers and sisters in Hoop World: Yes, ball is life. But in these times, ball might be death, too.”

The Pandemic Gifted Me a Global Queer Community

“Maybe Covid-19 created a queer cyborg afropresentism, where people of the diaspora claim the creation of the future in the now. Or maybe we’re just lonely queer millennials behind our cellphones, scattered across the diasporas midpandemic.”

The Third Crisis of 2020 Is Almost Here

“A monstrous wave of evictions and slashed unemployment benefits threaten to put millions of Americans on the street — and Republicans don’t seem to care.”


A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention.

“Grace is Black in a predominantly white community and in a county where a disproportionate percentage of Black youth are involved with the juvenile justice system.”

UPDATE: Judge: Teen detained after incomplete schoolwork should 'follow through' treatment

African American children are more likely to die after surgery than their white peers, researchers find

Virginia Trooper Placed On Leave After Video Surfaces Of Him Dragging Black Driver From Car By Neck

“The footage, recorded by a motorist during a traffic stop, shows an aggressive cop, forcefully ripping the man from his vehicle and taking him to the ground.”

The Magic of Black Girls’ Play

“Games are a way for Black girls to learn how social relationships are negotiated within America’s racialized and sexist map of reality…these games helped African-Americans survive circumstances that were anything but fun for girls and women.”

The Chamber of Commerce says it’s woke. Its actions say Black lives really don’t matter.

Given how many African Americans die because of polluted air, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is no ally. It is just another cop standing to the side as Black folks are being asphyxiated to death.

The Fight Against Racial Injustice Is A Caribbean Fight Too

“…the ideals of togetherness and sentiments of being ‘one people’ that are widely celebrated throughout island nations often overshadow these deep rooted issues, which stem from the eras of slavery and colonialism.”


Shout out to Deborah Douglas for including the newsletter in her timely piece about The New Black Press for Nieman Lab: “Meet the New Black Press.” Definitely check it out to learn about the other outlets and platforms publishing stories about and for the Black community.

Also in non-coronavirus news, I interviewed the trailblazing journalist/activist/author/organizer Raquel Willis for Longform podcast. Listen here for a guaranteed dose of inspiration and information, I promise.

Thank you for reading another issue of Coronavirus News for Black Folks. Feel free to share your thoughts and feedback below.

Stay safe & take care ✊🏿💗

— Patrice Peck (tw/ig)

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