An article in The Nation, "What’s Killing America’s Black Infants?" provides a sobering analysis of the disproportionately high death rate among African-American babies. Despite decades of interventions and public health initiatives, the racial infant mortality gap actually grew during the 1980s and 90s: during that time, "Black women who received prenatal care starting in the first trimester were still losing children at higher rates than white women who never saw a doctor during their pregnancies." This led to research into whether black women have a genetic predisposition to poor birth outcomes, which was largely disproven. However, more recently, "a growing body of evidence points to racial discrimination, rather than race itself, as the dominant factor in explaining why so many black babies are dying." The article profiles efforts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which has one of the worst infant-mortality rates of all US cities, to reverse the trend.
This project explored the impending collision between biological and regulatory classifications of population subgroups in American society. Researchers focused on the interaction between biological categories emerging from the effort to create a haplotype map of the human genome and preexisting categories specifying race and ethnicity embodied in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget's Directive 15, which governs collection of data by all federal agencies and in federally funded research.