UNNATURAL CAUSES ...is inequality making us sick?
Rebroadcast Fridays at 10PM, October 9, 16, 23, 30, 2009. Dates and times may vary. Check local listings.
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Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3 Hour 4 TRAILER

Hour 2 is made up of two segments. “When the Bough Breaks” examines the mystery of the Black-white infant mortality gap, while “Becoming American” sheds light on the shifting health status of newly arrived Latino immigrants.

When the bough breaks (1st segment)

premature baby in warmer

Why do infant mortality rates among African Americans remain more than twice as high as among white Americans? Although birth outcomes are generally better for those with higher education and income, Black women with college degrees are still more likely to give birth prematurely than white women who haven’t even finished high school. Researchers are circling in on a provocative explanation: the chronic stress of racism can become embedded in the body, taking a heavy toll on African American families and on children even before they leave the womb.


Video Segment excerpt - Kim Anderson’s story »

Video Segment excerpt: Unraveling the mystery of Black-white differences in infant mortality »


Document Transcript (PDF) »

Video Dr. Camara Jones describes three kinds of racism »

Document "Undoing Racism in Public Health: A Blueprint for Action in Urban Maternal and Child Health" (PDF) »

Document "Maternal Nutrition and Infant Mortality in the Context of Relationality" » (Note: the Joint Center is a funder of this series)

Document "Race, Stress, and Social Support: Addressing the Crisis in Black Infant Mortality" »(Note: the Joint Center is a funder of this series)

Becoming American (2nd segment)

mushroom farm worker - in profile

Recent Mexican immigrants, though typically poorer, tend to be healthier than the average American. But the longer they live here, the worse their relative health becomes, even as their economic status improves. This is known as the Latino “paradox.” Their children are especially at risk – for obesity, heart disease, and mental illness. What is it about new immigrant communities that shields people from poor health? How can we all learn and benefit from that knowledge? And what erodes this protective shield over time?


Video Segment excerpt: The Latino “paradox” »


Document Transcript (PDF) »

Document "Poor in Wealth, Rich in Health" (PDF) »

Document "Health a Challenge for Hispanic Immigrants" (PDF) »
Produced by
California Newsreel
With Vital Pictures, Inc.
Presented by
the National Minority Consortia
of Public Television
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