Fault Lines

The Great Divide: COVID-19 and race in Chicago

We examine how the pandemic’s effect on Black and Latino communities exposes deep racial inequities in a divided city.

In the United States, Chicago’s Black and Latino residents are far more likely to die from COVID-19 than their white counterparts. It is a pattern seen across the country.

In this deeply segregated city, the virus’s uneven effects mirror existing racial and economic divisions.

Before the pandemic, the life expectancy gap between majority white and predominantly Black neighbourhoods was as wide as 17 years. One of the reasons for that is unequal access to resources — from quality housing to healthcare and fresh food.

Fault Lines meets the communities fighting to bring resources to their neighbourhoods and stop structural racism decades in the making.

In The Great Divide, we ask how these racial inequities allowed COVID-19 to spread, and learn about the lives lost in the process.