Making the Invisible Visible: Health, Data, and Race-conscious Latinidad

Díaz, Tomás; Díaz, Mark
Harvard Kennedy School Journal of Hispanic Policy

Racial privilege and oppression go unnoticed but are nonetheless reproduced.1 In the United States, Black Latinx experience higher rates of unemployment, lower median household incomes, and higher rates of poverty than white Latinx.2 Similarly, Black Latinx reside in neighborhoods with higher proportions of residents living in poverty than white Latinx, which is associated with decreased access to nutrient-rich foods and clean air. Darker-skinned Latinx are more likely to report discrimination, which has consistently been associated with greater stress, anxiety/depression, and health behaviors linked to chronic diseases, such as smoking and physical inactivity.4,5 Among Latinx, health outcomes are heterogeneous, with racism contributing to worse health outcomes among Black Latinx. Inconsistencies are a concern for any data analysis; however, inconsistencies that describe historically marginalized groups stand to undermine public health efforts targeting structurally oppressed populations and compound historical inequities.