Listening to Black Californians: How the Health Care System Undermines Their Pursuit of Good Health

Oct 04, 2022 | by
  • Description

California, home to the most culturally diverse population in the country and the fifth largest Black population of any state, has a major opportunity to be a leader in health equity. But, again and again, research has shown that racism and structural barriers in the health care system prevent Black Californians from achieving the health they actively seek.

Long-standing racial and ethnic health disparities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the powerful demonstrations against police violence catalyzed by the murder of George Floyd, prompted CHCF to investigate the relationship between racism and health care that leads to unacceptable health outcomes for Black Californians. To identify solutions for dismantling persistent health inequities, CHCF engaged EVITARUS, a Black-owned public opinion research firm in Los Angeles, to conduct qualitative and quantitative research that listens deeply to Black Californians talking about their experiences with racism and health care.

Listening to Black Californians is one of the largest studies focused on the health care experiences of Black Californians to date. The qualitative phases, conducted from June to December 2021, included in-depth interviews with 100 Black Californians and 18 focus groups consisting of Black Californians and key health care stakeholders. The interviews and focus groups informed the content of a statewide survey, conducted from March to May 2022, and completed by 3,325 adult Black Californians recruited to reflect the population based on the 2020 US Census and 2019 American Community Survey.