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A black woman’s image is fragmented and distorted in the reflection of a broken mirror. Xia Gordon for Vox and Capital B

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Discrimination everywhere

Interrogating the true toll of pervasive racism.

For this month’s issue of The Highlight, Vox teamed up with Black-led nonprofit newsroom Capital B to explore the insidious effects of discrimination on Black Americans.

The collaboration — part of an ongoing partnership with Capital B — was prompted in part by the work of researchers at the University of Chicago, who compiled nearly 50 years’ worth of studies examining bias against Black people in nearly every aspect of modern life, which they shared exclusively with Vox and Capital B.

The researchers, led by Sendhil Mullainathan — one of the scholars behind the seminal resumé discrimination study “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” — reviewed decades of studies. They found that discrimination impacts consequential endeavors and mundane tasks alike, from buying a home and applying to jobs to looking for a new church and using rideshare apps. Simply put, discrimination is everywhere.

That isn’t news to the tens of millions of Black Americans who experience it daily. But as many white Americans continue to question whether systemic racism exists, these myriad studies offer affirmation, borne out with data in no uncertain terms, of its existence and pervasiveness. This, in turn, has provided us with opportunities to ask: What happens to Black lives when you endure racist acts day in and day out? What solutions exist? And what care can we provide?

A black woman is holding her face in her hands. She is blurry and disoriented, and the background is warped. Illustration by Xia Gordon for Vox and Capital B.

Discrimination isn’t just infuriating. It steals Black people’s time.

Vox analyzed dozens of studies and found that racism adds up in insidious ways.

By Sean Collins and Izzie Ramirez

Meika Ejiasi for Vox and Capital B

A racist society is detrimental to your health

From chronic stress to cancer, racial discrimination weathers Black Americans’ lives over time.

By Margo Snipe

The shadow of a mysterious figure appears on the side of a car. Police car lights can be seen in the reflection of the car window. Xia Gordon for Vox and Capital B

How cars fuel racial inequality

Cars can be a source of freedom. They also drive discrimination.

By Marin Cogan

A Black child and a White child play with blocks. A teacher approaches, clearly focusing on the Black child. Xia Gordon for Vox and Capital B

We need to rethink discipline in schools

How school reinforces inequalities between Black children and their peers.

By Jonquilyn Hill

A drawing of a woman looking at a computer with a warning message on the screen. Xia Gordon for Vox and Capital B

AI automated discrimination. Here’s how to spot it.

The next generation of AI comes with a familiar bias problem.

By Abby Ohlheiser

A Black woman sits in a hospital bed with a confused look on her face. Mysterious shapes surround her. Xia Gordon for Vox and Capital B

What’s behind Black women’s excessive rate of fibroids?

Is it chemicals? Diet? Stress?

By Akilah Wise

A Black person with their arms crossed and eyes closed, as a police office stands behind them and menacing figures are on either side of them. Carlos Basabe for Vox and Capital B

How to deal with racial trauma, according to Black experts

There’s no cure for the effects of pervasive discrimination, but there are steps you can take to help heal.

By Kenya Hunter


Editors: Vox: Adam Estes, Libby Nelson, Lavanya Ramanathan, Julia Rubin. Capital B: Gavin Godfrey, Dalila Johari-Paul, Simone Sebastian

Copy editors/fact-checkers: Vox: Elizabeth Crane, Kim Eggleston, Tanya Pai, Caitlin PenzeyMoog. Capital B: Neil Cornish

Additional fact-checking: Anouck Dussaud, Kelsey Lannin

Art direction: Dion Lee, Paige Vickers

Audience: Gabriela Fernandez, Shira Tarlo, Agnes Mazur. Capital B: Charity Scott, Alexandra Watts

Production/project editors: Lauren Katz, Nathan Hall

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