Wellness Wednesday: New Podcast Brings Health Information to Black Listeners in Louisville

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Real Talk with T-Made Taylor,” a new bimonthly podcast on iHeart Radio, brings vital health information to Louisville’s Black listeners.

Antonio T-Made Taylor, Hip Hop Into Learning (HHN2L) Co-Founder, hosts the podcast with the goal of lessening medical mistrust in Black communities through interviews with health experts and activists.

“The healthcare industry as a whole, or the health community, has not been kind to Black people,” said Taylor on the podcast. “So, as we went into the pandemic, there was a lot of skepticism in the Black community about getting the vaccine. There was a lot of information coming out that turned into misinformation.”

Taylor named the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment—in which 400 Black Americans in Alabama were purposefully left untreated for syphilis to lethal results—as an example of why Black Americans are hesitant to get the vaccine.

In addition to historical traumas, Black people still experience a myriad of health inequalities today, according to The New England Journal of Medicine.

In the podcast’s inaugural episode, Taylor invited infectious disease specialist Dr. Mark Burns to discuss the omicron variant and debunk misinformation surrounding the vaccine.

Dr. Burns explained the science behind virus variants.

“People say ‘well what about the flu? It seems like every year we got flu, we got to get a different shot.’ Well, that’s because the flu virus, the influenza virus, mutates. This [Covid-19] is no different,” said Dr. Burns. “This virus right now is trying to mutate. And so, when it mutates and it becomes significant, then that’s when we get this so-called variant. The variant is a mutation of the virus that’s surviving.”

Taylor closed the interview with the segment “cap or no cap,” in which experts deem statements about Covid-19 true or false. Dr. Burns disproved the claim that vaccines altar recipients’ DNA.

Louisville Metro Department for Public Health and Wellness sponsors the podcast.

As Covid-19 cases surged in Louisville’s vulnerable communities, the department’s Center for Health Equity reached out to community partners to help remedy the issue—according to NPR affiliate 89.3 WFPL News. From Taylor’s partnership with the center, the podcast was born.

Taylor and HHN2L, his nonprofit that offers a safe space for Black youth to cultivate their talent and share their stories, partnered with the Department of Public Health and Wellness last summer for a pop-up vaccination event encouraging Black Kentuckians to become immunized.

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