“For the Zulu Club, a black social organization in New Orleans, Mardi Gras was a joy. The coronavirus made it a tragedy.”
With essays, poems, timelines, and photography, the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project commemorates the 400th anniversary of American slavery, retelling the story of America’s origins by “placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center.”
Reporter Linda Villarosa reports on the racial disparities in health care that contribute to black women being three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts, and black infants being more than twice as likely to die as white infants. Threaded through the piece is the story of Simone Landrum, who lost a baby girl after doctors dismissed her pain and symptoms of pre-eclampsia, but delivered a healthy son after receiving the help of a doula through that subsequent pregnancy.
Ground zero in the AIDS crisis happened on June 5th, 1981, when the C.D.C.’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report identified five cases of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in previously healthy white men in Los Angeles. The sixth case — a gay African-American man who had contracted PCP and cytomegalovirus — went undocumented and that critical omission has had a horrific ripple effect in the Southern United States where the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…predicted that if current rates continue, one in two African-American gay and bisexual men will be infected with the virus.”