Linda Villarosa is an American author and journalist who is a former executive editor of Essence magazine. She has worked on health coverage for Science Times. She is also author of several books, and her first novel Passing for Black, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award in 2008.
Some have called the pandemic “the great equalizer.”  But the coronavirus is killing black Americans at staggeringly higher rates than white Americans. Today, we explore why. Guest: Linda Villarosa, a writer for The New York Times Magazine covering racial health disparities, who spoke to Nicole Charles in New Orleans, La. about the death of her husband, Cornell Charles, known as Dickey. He was 51. For more information on today’s episode, visit Background reading: How Mardi Gras accelerated the spread of the coronavirus among an already vulnerable population in New Orleans.The coronavirus has killed black and Latino people in New York City at twice the rate that it has killed white people. Black Britons are also twice as likely to die from coronavirus.Black Americans can face subconscious bias from medical professionals when they seek care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have advised health professionals to be on the lookout for such bias, but some say the issue is far more systemic.
U.S. Presidential candidate Cory Booker joins Christiane Amanpour in New York to talk climate, his childhood and the 2020 presidential race. Former Conservative Party MP Alistair Burt discusses the recent Brexit developments and Yascha Mounk, Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University, reflects on their wider implications for British democracy. Our Walter Isaacson is joined by Linda Villarosa, Contributing Writer at the New York Times Magazine, to talk about the Times' 1619 Project. via Knit
In this episode, Linda Villarosa joins host Camelia Singletary to talk about the ongoing health disparities faced by pregnant African American women. This conversation stems from a New York Times article that Ms. Villarosa authored entitled “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis."
Linda Villarosa directs the journalism program at the City College of New York and is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. Her article "Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis" was one of Longform's Top Ten of 2018. She is at work on a new book, Under the Skin: Race, Inequality and the Health of a Nation, due out in 2020. “I think at the beginning I was afraid to say it right out, so I think I was saying ‘racial bias’ or something like that. Then I stopped. ... I think how I learned about it both in earlier reporting and in grad school and in my own research was that race is a risk factor for a bunch of different health problems, whether it’s heart disease, infant and maternal mortality, or HIV. It’s just said that race is a risk factor. It’s disproportionate. What it really is is that race is a risk factor, but it’s also a risk marker. Instead of looking at what individuals are doing wrong, it’s what society is doing wrong in creating problems for individual people which lead to health crisis. It’s sort of like bias, related to racism, is creating problems in people’s actual bodies. That’s what I came to understand. It really shifts the blame off the individual.” Thanks to MailChimp, The Great Courses Plus, and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode. @lindavillarosa Villarosa on Longform [0:40] "Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis" (New York Times Magazine • Apr 2018) [5:00] "America’s Hidden H.I.V. Epidemic" (New York Times Magazine • Jun 2017) [13:20] "A Conversation With: Phill Wilson; Speaking Out to Make AIDS an Issue of Color" (New York Times Magazine • Dec 2000)
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Creator Details

Jan 9th, 1959
Brooklyn, NY, USA
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
4 hours, 13 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 517439