Like the majority of you, all of us in the Philadelphia area are staying at home, learning to adapt to our “new normal.” MAGNET is checking in with local musicians to see how and what they’re doing during this unprecedented time. Photos by Chris Sikich.
Shumski: I used to play drums for a living. Very quickly, it’s been made clear how even though music is an essential part of so many of our lives, the reality is that living comes first. There are more important existential priorities at hand.
This isolation drill has afforded me the opportunity to consider not only the world’s challenges born from the pandemic, but how it has exacerbated many of our society’s disparities. Black and Latino Americans are three times as likely to become infected—and nearly twice as likely to die—from COVID-19 than white Americans. Only five states in the U.S. have reported testing data by race, a crucial public-health indicator that’s often a primary policy driver to reopening. It’s clear that public health is not only clouded, but threatened, by our country’s perception of race, and this pandemic is no different.
For a much deeper look into the data associated with COVID-19, I recommend reading this article and this statement by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Antiracist Research And Policy Center at American University.
And here are some links if you’d like to learn more and take action.
Antiracist Research And Policy Center
Oshun Family Center: Focusing On Black Maternal Mental Health
Ancient Song: Supporting Community Based Doula Organizations
Philadelphia Bail Fund
Black Lives Matter