The Black Frontline invites you into a world of colliding realities of pain and power, structural racism, longstanding inequity, a history of healing and harm, and their manifestations in community, society and nation.
Oral history is the 21st century African drum. It is a carrier of cultures whose expanded Blackness reflects the scattered geographies from a global history of systems of brutality and injustice. What emerges is a richness through voices of the particularity of Blackness shaped by the white supremacy of particular regions. The lilt of the islands, the inflection from the West Coast of Africa, the soft musicality of a Southern accent — all Black, all voices whose particular sound is an expression of a sonic experience of global Blackness.
This richness is captured in The Black Frontline, the largest oral history project of global Black doctors and nurses. It is founded by The Armah Institute of Emotional Justice (The AIEJ) and co-directed with COVID Black, with funding from the Skoll Foundation and the Mellon Foundation and with support from Brown University, the project’s institutional home. The Black Frontline invites you into a world of colliding realities of pain and power, structural racism, longstanding inequity, a history of healing and harm, and their manifestations in community, society, nation. Framed through 300 narratives of doctors and nurses from across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ghana, The Black Frontline is a bridge that connects, informs, engages and transforms.
Each accent in Birmingham, London, and Leicester; Atlanta, Chicago and New York; Accra and Kumasi, is a story of a journey. It is in their voices and through their narratives, that the future of healthcare can emerge. Walking us through the horror, the harm, and the hurt in the world of healthcare through their lenses, Black doctors and nurses in these three locations are a lifeline on the frontline. Connected, not geographically, but through the devastating arms of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black doctors and nurses’ voices shine.
The Black Frontline uses mixed methodologies and cross collaborations including oral history, journalism, data, and story-telling. It also draws on the theory and application of Black digital humanities and the racial healing framework of Emotional Justice, building an online world of stories, struggle, joy, pain, loss, courage, community and sacrifice. This is the reality of those who are disregarded — Black doctors and nurses and the Black patients they serve — in a hostile environment of structural inequity. It creates a window into the worlds of the marginalized in order that they become mainstream. By doing this, the project is a bridge that enables a global community to cross into these intersecting worlds of challenge, courage, fear, loss, joy, devastation, survival and community.
“The Black Frontline invites you into a world of colliding realities of pain and power, structural racism, longstanding inequity, a history of healing and harm, and their manifestations in community, society, nation.”
THE BLACK FRONTLINE ADVISORY COUNCIL
We are honored to have brought together an Advisory Council that combined high profile and grass-roots expertise from Ivy League institutions and grassroots activist organizations. Our Advisory Council is global, connecting experts from across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ghana.
Dr. Aiden Landry
Assistant Dean, Office for Diversity,
Inclusion and Community Partnership
Harvard Medical School
Dr. Ijeoma Nnodim Opara
Founding Director, Health Equity & Justice in Medicine
Wayne State University
Dr. Emezie Okorocha
Founder & Director,
African Caribbean Medical Association
Professor Tolullah Oni
Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit
University of Cambridge
Dr. Yaw Bediako
Founder & Director, Yemaachi Biotech
Dr. Ernest Yorke
Head of Ghana Medical Association – Greater Accra
THE BLACK FRONTLINE TEAM
Our team of Site Managers on the ground in each of our three territories were the recruiters, the recorders, and the receivers of oral histories from across the US, the UK and Ghana. They came from the worlds of medicine, communications, and research. Each week, we all came together to share notes, exchange experiences and be guided by the learning on the ground from the voices within the expertise of Black doctors and nurses.