How Racism Affects Children

Did you know that there are physiological effects upon children being raised in a stressful racist environment? Their blood pressure and heart rate increases. Stress hormones such as cortisol are elevated and their immune system can trigger an inflammatory response making it harder for wound healing and fighting infection. Continuous “toxic stress” from long periods of being in, living in or experiencing or exposed in early childhood to an environment of systemic racism, does not inevitably lead to disease early in life but does increase the risk of later problems, prolonged elevations of blood sugar leading to insulin resistance, obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune disorders. Growing up in a racist environment can have an impact on their lifestyles and individual responsibilities in adulthood because of the continuous activation of stress at home that has a wear-and-tear effect inside their young growing bodies.Continue reading