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Book description

Racial disparities in health and life expectancy are public health problems that have existed since before the US became a country and affect all American's lives. On average, Black Americans have poorer overall health than White Americans and receive lower quality healthcare. This volume presents research from a broad range of academic disciplines, personal narratives, and historical sources to explain the origins of anti-Black racism and describe specific ways in which it threatens both Black Americans' health and the quality of their medical care. Using their own research and public policy expertise, the authors analyze the critical roles of individual and systemic racial bias in these racial health disparities and their consequence for all Americans. They also identify current viable interventions that can reduce current racial health disparities. Unequal Health is invaluable to professionals who study health disparities and lay people who are concerned about them.


‘This book provides a timely and comprehensive analysis of America’s most pressing societal dilemma - persistent, seemingly intractable racial health disparities. It is solution-focused and combines an in-depth discussion of the social determinants of health with a clear depiction of the inequities in the healthcare system. I highly recommend this book.’

Gail C. Christopher - National Collaborative for Health Equity, USA

‘Anyone who wants to understand and address the origins of unequal health- and healthcare- in the USA, would do well to devour and digest this honest and comprehensive book. In addition to providing a review of the origins of inequity in health and healthcare, the authors provide a clear and compelling way forward.’

Jennifer Griggs - University of Michigan, USA

‘I think this is a valuable addition to the conversation about health equity/disparities. I believe health equity researchers and healthcare practitioners; physicians and medical students will find this a useful and informative book. This book organizes and reinforces what we know, what we think we know, and what we are and should be doing about it.’

James M. Jones - University of Delaware, USA

‘For African Americans, and for other Americans too, it is difficult to witness the profound racial disparities in health and health care in our society and still trust the beneficence of this society. This book documents and explains those disparities as well as any book I’ve seen. But it also spells out paths to remedy. Plausible, feasible paths. And therein lies its major contribution: Against a backdrop of despair, it offers hope. A hope that if taken up, can help renew our society. This book is a must read.’

Claude M. Steele - Stanford University, USA

‘Unequal Health succinctly synthesizes the root causes of health inequalities, backed by decades of health and healthcare evidence, practice, and the voices of racially and ethnically minoritized groups. This timely and well-written text does a phenomenal job of chronicling how we got here, where ‘here’ is, and where we are going concerning the role of anti-black racism in health and healthcare inequalities. After reading the first chapter, I knew this book would be one of the BEST evidence-based texts chronicling health inequities in our field. I found something interesting and insightful with the turn of each page.’

Daphne C. Watkins - University of Michigan, USA

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