This country’s institutions treat Blackness like the most toxic comorbidity of all.
I have asthma.” Growing up in my beloved St. Louis, I thought this might be the most common middle name for Black kids like me. Brittany “I have asthma” Packnett. We were strong in numbers. It just seemed like a fact of life.
Until I realized just how many of my white peers were not wheezing after high school gym class. It was not a fact of life, it was a fact of Black life. If you were a black child in the city of St. Louis as recently as last year, you were 10 times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than a white child.