The Black History of Public Health: From Legacies of Racism and Resistance to Futures of Equity and Justice

Just like individual health is shaped by inherited genetics and sociocultural patterns, community health is shaped by the cultures, perspectives, practices, and systems we collectively inherit from our pasts. In the United States, our cultural inheritance—legacies passed down through generations—includes deep-rooted structures of violence and hierarchies of racialized power that pre-date the U.S. itself. Our cultural inheritance also includes legacies of resistance, strength, resilience, and leadership that transcend oppression and offer solutions to some of our nation’s most entrenched problems.