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Virtual Event: Arline T. Geronimus

March 30, 2023 @ 6:00 pm


March 30, 2023
6:00 pm
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Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States


Harvard Book Store
(617) 661-1515


The Extraordinary Stress of
Ordinary Life in an Unjust Society

in conversation with LINDA VILLAROSA


Harvard Book Store welcomes ARLINE T. GERONIMUS—Professor in the School of Public Health and Research Professor in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan—for a discussion of her new book Weathering: The Extraordinary Stress of Ordinary Life in an Unjust Society. She will be joined in conversation by LINDA VILLAROSA—author of Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation.

Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store

While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Weathering on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.

Click here to join!

About Weathering

America has woken up to what many of its citizens have known for centuries and to what public health statistics have evidenced for decades: systemic injustice takes a physical, too often deadly, toll on Black, brown, working class and poor communities, and any group who experiences systemic cultural oppression or economic exploitation. Marginalized Americans are disproportionately more likely to suffer from chronic diseases and to die at much younger ages than their middle- and upper-class white counterparts. Black mothers die during childbirth at a rate three times higher than white mothers. White kids in high-poverty Appalachian regions have a healthy life expectancy of 50 years old, while the vast majority of US youth can expect to both survive and be able-bodied at 50, with decades of healthy life expectancy ahead of them. In the face of such clear inequity, we must ask ourselves why this is, and what we can we do.

Dr. Arline T. Geronimus coined the term “weathering” to describe the effects of systemic oppression—including racism and classism—on the body. In Weathering, based on more than 30 years of research, she argues that health and aging have more to do with how society treats us than how well we take care of ourselves. She explains what happens to human bodies as they attempt to withstand and overcome the challenges and insults that society leverages at them, and details how this process ravages their health. And she proposes solutions.

Until now, there has been little discussion about the insidious effects of social injustice on the body. Weathering shifts the paradigm, shining a light on the topic and offering a roadmap for hope.

Praise for Weathering

“One of the most significant public health research discoveries of the last few decades is this: when it comes to health and aging, how society treats us has more of an impact than how we take care of ourselves. In this monumental book, Arline T. Geronimus meticulously demonstrates that systemic injustice isn’t just oppressive—it’s toxic on the body; it’s deadly.” ―Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning

“Superbly insightful. If this unique volume did nothing else, I would recommend Weathering as the book on healthcare disparities. But it also distills and delivers its scholarship and insight in engaging narratives, including compelling personal histories so that you will glean your education in racial health disparities—and how to end them—quite painlessly. In fact, reading Weathering, with its clear-eyed mixture of reality and hope, is a delight.” ―Harriet A. Washington, author of Medical Apartheid

“As I learn more about the complexity of chronic diseases, and the reasons black people who grew up like I did endure them more often than others, it provides me a peace of mind I didn’t know was possible. This book brings clarity where I’ve long had confusion. No doubt, it will influence the broader discussion about health and race in this country on a macro and policy-level. But more than that, it will be invaluable to folks who’ve faced anything like I did since I was a child.”―Issac J. Bailey, author of Why Didn’t We Riot?