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Author Linda Villarosa has been writing about the racial disparities in health outcomes for decades and recently covered the topic for the New York Times' 1619 Project. She says that while she used to think poverty was to blame for Black Americans' health problems, she's now convinced that bias in the health care system and the "weathering" affect of living in a racist society are taking a serious toll on African Americans.
There is a 30-year gap in the life expectancies of Black and white Chicagoans depending on their ZIP code. Journalist Linda Villarosa says the disparity in life expectancies has its roots in government-sanctioned policies that systematically extracted wealth from Black neighborhoods — and eroded the health of generations of people. She writes about her family's own story in The New York Times Magazine article "Black Lives Are Shorter in Chicago. My Family's History Shows Why."