EP01: Black Body Health: The Podcast

Aidil is public health advocate from Durham, North Carolina while Ritney is a preacher, pastor, and political junkie from South Louisiana. We learn that the name miss Us with that, means that Aidil and Ritney will be discussing current events that don’t quite make sense such as Mayor Muriel Bowser’s renaming of the street in front of the White House to “Black Lives Matter”. The discussion of this incident and whether its symbolism will be backed by suitable policy change led to a discussion of the role of art in the movement. Aidil and Ritney explain that performative politics like the Black Lives Matter street name are a good start because of the way in which they elevate the topic and start conversations that wouldn’t usually happen. Aidil provides a quote by Toni Cade Bambara in which he says, “The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible” which represents the positive aspects of art for Black Lives Matter. Aidil and Ritney make it clear that they want more and symbolism cannot be the end all be all in the movement. Aidil praises an organization from Durham, North Carolina called Art Ain’t Innocent for their efforts in calling out artists that are diluting the Black Lives Matter Movement with their work. The guest, Daniel Dawes is introduced as a public health expert on health reform, health disparities, and the social determinants of health with two published books and several national awards.

In this Episode:

  • Our Guest: Daniel Dawes is the director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Daniel Dawes new book: The Political Determinants of Health
  • Our two crises today are a social epidemic as well as a global pandemic
  • We know that the United States has always given an inequitable response to health issues and it is important to collect data and for Covid-19 46 of the 50 states have disclosed data by race and ethnicity
  • The political determinants are the roots of the social determinants of health
  • Social determinants of health are conditions in the environment that people are born into which impact their environment and personal health
  • We need to look at the systematic processes of structuring relationships, distributing resources, and administrating power to change political determinants
  • We must continue engaging in tough conversations, continue to address the political determinants and when they’re at play, and research the histories of our communities
  • This generation is tired of how long it has taken for political change to occur in the past due to the racist system and is hoping for meaningful change as we move to a more pluralistic society
  • Both Democrats and Republicans have implemented policies that have negatively affected black communities as well as positively impacted them
  • The Obama Administration was the first to say it would tackle racial health disparities while the Trump administration has tried to dismantle many policies working towards equity.