How Black Youth Are Uniquely Impacted By COVID-19 & The Caribbean Braces Itself

Plus, racism called out in test availability, experts debate diversity within vaccine trials, Cali will collect LGBTQ data, and 9-year-old Black girl becomes Florida's youngest coronavirus victim.

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 1,847 subscribers as of August 5, 2020.

Please consider (1) clicking that itty bitty ❤️ at the top of this email next to my name to “like” us, (2) subscribing, and (3) supporting this newsletter by sharing it with your friends and family.


Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Photo by CDC on Unsplash


A Rare, Inflammatory Disease Is Sickening Children After COVID-19. An Overwhelming Proportion Is Black and Latinx Kids.

“The first reports of MIS-C, or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, were something of a mystery: In May, doctors in New York reported seeing otherwise healthy children enter the hospital with symptoms like fever, rash, vomiting, and diarrhea. They noted the condition was similar to Kawasaki disease, a decades-old condition that also afflicts children, but in this case, there was a clear coronavirus link: Most of the children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 or had been infected before.”

Florida's Youngest Coronavirus Victim Identified as 9-Year-Old Kimora 'Kimmie' Lynum

“‘We took her to the hospital, the children's pediatric,’ Young-Holmes recalled, telling the outlet that Kimmie was not tested for coronavirus while they were at the hospital. ‘I thought they would have jumped on that when they saw her fever.’ Days after returning home, Young-Holmes said Kimmie asked to take a nap one afternoon and never woke up.”

Virus-Driven Push to Release Juvenile Detainees Leaves Black Youth Behind

“In February, before the coronavirus was widespread in the United States, the white release rate was about 7 percent higher than the Black release rate, the report found; by May, that gap rose to 17 percent.”

Grace, Black Teen Jailed for Not Doing Her Online Coursework, Is Released

“Grace’s story, first published by ProPublica Illinois, prompted outrage and debate across the country. Though a judge refused to set the girl free, the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered her immediate release from a juvenile detention facility in Detroit.”

Metro Atlanta high school football player loses both parents to COVID-19 days apart

“Justin Hunter said he has no idea where the family contracted the virus, and that his parents were taking all the proper precautions…‘When my mom would go to the store, she would be wearing mask and she would be wearing gloves.’”

The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Intensified Systemic Economic Racism Against Black Americans (a longread, but worth it for contextual overview on America’s history of systemic economic racism against Black Americans)

“…factors that have sabotaged Black people’s ability to generate wealth in the century and a half since abolition, including Jim Crow laws; segregation; redlining that made it far harder for Black people to buy homes; the original versions of the Social Security and Fair Labor Standards Acts, which left out agricultural and domestic workers; and the violent suppression of Black economic success, from the lynching of Black businessmen to the Tulsa Massacre of 1921, which destroyed one of the nation’s most prosperous Black communities.”

Want A COVID-19 Test? It’s Much Easier To Get In Wealthier, Whiter Neighborhoods

“According to a new, extensive review of testing sites by ABC News,1 FiveThirtyEight and ABC-owned television stations, sites in communities of color in many major cities face higher demand than sites in whiter or wealthier areas in those same cities. The result of this disparity is clear: Black and Hispanic people are more likely to experience longer wait times and understaffed testing centers.”

‘The Biggest Monster’ Is Spreading. And It’s Not the Coronavirus.

“Several public health experts, some close to tears, warned that if the current trends continue, the coronavirus is likely to set back years, perhaps decades, of painstaking progress against TB, H.I.V. and malaria.”

McDonald’s, Marriott Franchises Didn’t Pay Covid-19 Sick Leave. That Was Illegal.

*Pass this article along to anyone who (1) works for a small or medium-sized company, particularly in a low-wage job and/or (2) did not receive paid leave while infected with COVID-19 or has been fired for taking leave. There’s also a 35-page searchable document listing companies that have violated the federal paid-leave law and back wages owed.

“…hundreds of U.S. businesses have been cited for illegally denying paid leave to workers during the pandemic, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. As of June 12, nearly 700 companies had violated the law's paid-leave provisions and owed back wages to hundreds of employees…”

Communities Of Color Poised To Lose Their Homes As Eviction Moratoriums Lift

“Black and brown Americans — the very people who are more likely to succumb to coronavirus or lose their jobs because of it — are disproportionately on the brink of also losing the four walls that public health officials have repeatedly told everyone to hide behind, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of more than 8,000 eviction filings.”

The Color of COVID: Will Vaccine Trials Reflect America’s Diversity?

“When it comes to trials for drug treatments and vaccines, diversity matters. For reasons not always fully understood, people of different races and ethnicities can respond differently to drugs or therapies, research shows.”


California Will Now Collect LGBTQ Coronavirus Data

“The coronavirus poses a greater risk for LGBTQ people because the community has higher rates of smoking, homelessness and increased prevalence of HIV and cancer…”

Despite coronavirus threat, Black voters wary of voting by mail

“For many, historical skepticism of a system that tried to keep Black people from the polls and worries that a mailed ballot won't get counted outweigh the prospect of long lines and health dangers from a virus that's disproportionately affected communities of color.”

Baltimore Pastor Sees Long-Term Solution to Food Insecurity: Black Church Farms

“When Brown started growing food in the former lawn of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, he recruited seniors who had grown up on multi-generational farms before moving north, to lead the project and teach urban volunteers how to farm. The church harvested 1,200 pounds of produce the first year. They also found black farmers to help supply food for sale in urban areas.”

The National Museum of African American History & Culture Wants Your Photos, Videos, and Stories to Help Document the Black Lives Matter Movement and COVID-19

“…the new platform offers an opportunity for the NMAAHC to highlight shared COVID and Black Lives Matter movement experiences, and to celebrate the American values of resiliency, optimism, and spirituality. Last week, 400 people started uploading their stories online in various formats, including photographs, poems, and original music.”

About 20% of N.J. Prisoners Could Be Freed to Avoid Virus

Note: According to a 2016 study by The Sentencing Project, The imprisonment rate in New Jersey for Black Americans is more than 10-times that of white Americans, where Black people comprise more than half of the prison population despite making up 14% of the state’s population.

“The five largest known clusters of the virus in the United States are now linked to correctional facilities. New Jersey’s prison death rate is the highest in the nation, with 27 deaths per 10,000 prisoners…”

The Black Health Commissioner at the Center of the Fight Against Covid-19 Racism

“Jeanette Kowalik, a Black woman, is the health commissioner for Milwaukee, a city that regularly ranks as one of the worst cities for livability for Black women. She now presides over the health future of a city that at one point was the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S., particularly for African Americans.”

Rev. Vickey Gibbs, Activist in a Progressive Church, Dies at 57

“Ms. Gibbs had been part of Resurrection for almost 40 years, since she looked in one day and saw a room full of mostly gay white men — a home, and also a challenge. She was a young lesbian raised in the Missionary Baptist church, and Resurrection became a place to find her calling and to help build a large, racially diverse, politically engaged congregation.”

Three Couples Reveal How COVID-19 Unemployment Affected Their Relationships

“With their careers in limbo, these three Black couples focused on the positive and strengthened their bonds.”

Black Women Are Reclaiming Their Identity Through ‘Covid Cuts’

“The pandemic has pushed natural hair into a collective new direction. We’re having a universal experience, where the lack of access to hair salons and beauty supply stores has revealed a window of opportunity. We’re in a place where we can truly question the way we have chosen to present ourselves to the world.”



MinnesotaHigher COVID-19 rates seen in Black and Hispanic children in Minn.

Illinois — Nearly 2,000 Coronavirus Cases Reported In Illinois As 21 People Die

When extreme heat collides with COVID-19, survival is connected to preparedness

Helendora Samuels Picture Framing, One Of Few Black-Owned Shops In Wicker Park, Struggling During Pandemic

California — Black Restaurant Week returns to Los Angeles

Missouri — Disparity in COVID-19 deaths shows burden on black community, hospitalizations continue to rise

New York — Pandemic accentuates usual census undercount in Black and African communities: outreach leaders

Maine — Mills announces $1 million effort to address racial disparities in COVID-19 (Maine has the nation's worst COVID-19 racial disparity)

North Carolina — Black neighborhoods have less access to Raleigh COVID-19 testing centers, but the gap is shrinking


COVID-19: Millions of job losses, poverty forecast for Latin America, Caribbean

“With many not qualifying for low-interest loans, Caribbean nations are struggling to regain their economic footing after seeing their tourism-dependent economies decimated after closing their borders in March to try to stem the virus.”

RELATED: United Nations proposes guaranteed income for the poor to help stem COVID-19 spread

Zimbabwe's health care crisis deepens as virus rage

“Experts say the health crisis has its roots in the country's wider economic collapse which has brought back hyperinflation, shut factories, pushed the official unemployment rate to an estimated 90% and seen the majority of the population sink deeper into poverty and hardly able to afford a square meal.”

RELATED: Zimbabwe: COVID-19 crawls to president’s doorstep

As Hurricane Isaias crosses Bahamas, hurricane shelters could become COVID 'tinder box'

“The Bahamas, which has stressed that face masks will be obligatory during shelter stays and social distancing will be enforced, is not the only country facing the dilemma of keeping people safe during the storm in the midst of a pandemic. But being the first Caribbean nation being confronted with a hurricane this season, it may end up being the first to test the concept.”

RELATED: With COVID-19 surging and ICU beds scarce, Bahamas goes into total lockdown


Black lives will not matter until the economy does

“…what we have commonly understood to be the economy is, in effect, a fraudulent paradigm masquerading as an axiom of economic value. And Western civilisation has constructed and disseminated a monumental edifice of theory to assert its dominance based on this destructive model of market capitalism. The basis of this thinking must move African economic development away from a Western-inspired exploitative ethos to an African-inspired collaborative ethos.”


COVID-19 Vaccine: Dr. Anthony Fauci Gets Why Black People Are Weary After Tuskegee Experiment

“You want to go into the African American community with people who look and think and act like the people you’re trying to convince. You get the community people on the ground to go in and say, ‘Hey, let me tell you, I've scoped this out. This is something for your own benefit.’”

Read some of the video HERE.

Helping black-owned businesses hit hard by COVID-19

Tanisha Carothers, president of the Evansville Black Chamber of Commerce, talks about her organization’s drive to support African American entrepreneurs impacted by the pandemic.


Pollution Is Killing Black Americans. This Community Fought Back.

“The urgency of this environmental crisis has been hastened by climate change and has now gathered speed and attention as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the current racial-justice movement. The racial disparities that have exposed Black Americans to a disproportionate share of air pollution have risen to the surface to lethal effect during the current pandemic.”

Summer School for Protest Writing

“With a reading list ranging from W. E. B. Du Bois to Kendrick Lamar, a remote class teaches Philadelphia teens how to express their frustration with society—including, in some cases, their schools.”

Gun sales spike among African-Americans: 'Our ancestors died for us to vote, they also died for us to be able to carry guns'

“‘The highest overall firearm sales increase comes from Black men and women, who show a 58.2% increase in purchases during the first six months of 2020 versus the same period last year…Bottom line is that there has never been a sustained surge in firearm sales quite like what we are in the midst of.’”

RELATED: Why Black People Own Guns (2016)

I’m a Black Trans Woman. All Parts of My Life Matter.

“My understanding of how the systems of sexism, racism, colorism, and transphobia intersect is a large reason why I speak out.”

I’m in the very early stages of working on a piece for the newsletter featuring Black teachers nationwide and their thoughts on the ongoing debates about reopening schools amid the pandemic. If you are a Black teacher or know one who would like to speak with me, anonymously or not, please let me know in the comment section. And drop any additional feedback, thoughts, or concerns while you’re at it! Hearing from readers keeps me motivated.

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Stay safe & take care ✊🏿💗

— Patrice Peck (tw/ig)