Government sponsored segregation of urban neighborhoods has detrimentally impacted the health of Black Americans. Over the last century, federal, state, and local governments have promulgated racist laws and policies that shaped the racial divide of communities in major metropolitan cities. This divide has contributed to poor health outcomes and large discrepancies in life expectancy for Black Americans when compared to their White counterparts. While health is impacted by various factors, segregation has been shown to impose various challenges that make it difficult for Black Americans to attain good health.
Segregated Black communities struggle with economic inequality, environmental racism, and face difficulties accessing healthcare services. All these challenges have been linked to poor health outcomes. This Note argues that the federal government must make amends for its role in shaping the segregated communities of America. The federal government should do this by passing a comprehensive reparations package to address economic inequality, environmental pollution, and barriers to accessing healthcare services that stem from segregation. Although such sweeping legislation is likely to face legal challenges, Congress can rely on its power to eliminate all badges and incidents of slavery under the Thirteenth Amendment to uphold the legislation in the courts.
Recommended CitationMariya Denisenko, The Impact of Government Sponsored Segregation on Health Inequities: Addressing Death Gaps Through Reparations, 80 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1687 (2023).
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/wlulr/vol80/iss4/7