How Structural Racism Works — Racist Policies as a Root Cause of U.S. Racial Health Inequities

Zinzi D. Bailey, Sc.D., M.S.P.H., Justin M. Feldman, Sc.D., and Mary T. Bassett, M.D., M.P.H.

As a legacy of African enslavement, structural racism affects both population and individual health in three interrelated domains: redlining and racialized residential segregation, mass incarceration and police violence, and unequal medical care. These examples, among others, share certain cardinal features: harms are historically grounded, involve multiple institutions, and rely on racist cultural tropes