Black people have long suffered from persistent inequality in the United States due to centuries of racism, discrimination and the long-lasting effects of slavery. This has created conditions that make it difficult for Black Americans to get ahead. 

Systemic racism — at times called structural racism or institutional racism — is “the complex interaction of culture, policy and institutions that holds in place the outcomes we see in our lives,” says Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward. Systemic racism leads to disparities in many “success indicators,” he says, including wealth, health, criminal justice, employment, housing, political representation and education. 

And numbers from official sources over decades of time back this up. 

Here are one dozen charts, showing how inequities impact not just Black Americans’ quality of life, but length of life. 

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