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Layal Liverpool: 'Racism is the most dangerous public health threat'

By Obomate Briggs

“What can you do when science and medicine are as biased as the society they treat?” asks science journalist in her new book Systemic: How racism is making us ill. Inspired to put pen to paper during the covid-19 pandemic, which saw those from marginalised communities experiencing disproportionate harm, Liverpool’s book explores racism as a public health crisis that poses a threat to us all. Through the inclusion of incredibly moving testimonials, cutting-edge data from across the world and a historical look into eugenics 鈥 the echoes of which still subtly influence medical research and practice today 鈥 Systemic serves as a comprehensive and eye-opening examination of how deeply racism is embedded in the healthcare system. We had the privilege to sit down with Liverpool to discuss her own journey navigating the healthcare system as a black woman, the idea of anti-racist medicine and what really needs to be done to tackle health inequality. For Liverpool, identifying racism as one of the underlying causes of health disparity gives hope because there is a possibility that something can be done and that such harrowing outcomes aren’t inevitable.

 

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