Linda Villarosa on Breathing While Black

Linda Villarosa
ACT at MIT

This fall, ACT is co-sponsoring a lecture series as part of MAS.S63 | Black Mobility and Safety in the US I, a new course taught by Ekene Ijeoma, Director of the Poetic Justice Group at the MIT Media Lab.

On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, beginning at 2pm, Linda Villarosa will join the class, and will be responding to the prompt of Breathing While Black.

Linda Villarosa is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, covering race and public health and a former executive editor at Essence Magazine. Her 2018 Times Magazine cover story on infant and maternal mortality in black mothers and babies was nominated for a National Magazine Award. Last year she contributed to the ground breaking 1619 Project. Her essay highlighted physiological myths, based on race, that have endured since slavery. Linda’s April 29 cover story examined race, health disparities and covid-19 through the lens of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club of New Orleans, and her August 2 article, The Refinery Next Door, looked at environmental justice in Philadelphia. Linda teaches journalism and Black Studies at the City College of New York and is writing the book Under the Skin: Race, Inequality and the Health of a Nation, which will be published by Doubleday in 2021.

In this seminar and studio, Ijeoma will guide students to listen, learn, reflect and respond to issues around mobility (physical, mental, socio-economical, political, etc) and safety for Black Americans through words, images, and sounds that reference social science and anti-racist research. Weekly meetings will be organized around public lectures from guests ranging from designers and urban planners to activists and social scientists, and private individual presentations for the group.

Part of a two-semester course, Black Mobility and Safety in the US is organized into two-week topics around living while Black. The first semester (Fall 2020) will include: birthing, breathing, sleeping, eating, and walking; the second: learning, voting, driving, working, and loving. By the end of each semester, students will have the resources and tools to actively listen and respond critically to issues of Black mobility in the context of their own fields and their purposes.

Register for the lecture.