What's behind the high black infant mortality rates? Racism, not race

Residents say the neighborhood of Castlemont in Oakland has been historically underserved and under-resourced. It's part of the Best Babies Zone initiative, part of a national initiative which aim to change that.
Residents say the neighborhood of Castlemont in Oakland has been historically underserved and under-resourced. It's part of the Best Babies Zone initiative, part of a national initiative which aim to change that.
Priska Neely/KPCC

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Black babies in the the United States are twice as likely to die before their first birthdays as white babies. This alarming statistic is not new. That gap in birth outcomes has persisted for decades. As KPCC’s Priska Neely reports, one of the reasons it’s hard to change: systemic racism is at the heart of the issue.

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This project received support from the Center for Health Journalism's California Fellowship and its Fund for Journalism on Child Well-being.