COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted African Americans. Political and social determinants of health—the impact of the environments where people play, work, and live—account for up to 80% of individual and population health risk. This article provides an overview of how historical and contemporary systemic structural violence and racist structures embedded within the political and social determinants of health have led to African Americans experiencing high rates of morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-450
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Meharry Medical College.


  • African Americans
  • COVID-19
  • Health equity
  • Political and social determinants of health
  • Racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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