Black Canadians’ Exposure to Everyday Racism: Implications for Health System Access and Health Promotion among Urban Black Communities Academic Article uri icon

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  • This study explores the social determinants of Black Canadians' exposure to everyday racism, its relationship to health system access, and implications for health promotion. We used data from the A/C Study survey on HIV transmission and prevention among Black Canadians. We implemented the survey (N = 1360) in 2018-2019 in Toronto and Ottawa-two large cities that together account for 42% of Canada's Black population-among self-identified Black residents aged 15-64 years, who were born in sub-Sahara Africa or the Caribbean or had a parent who was born in those regions. Participants reported racist encounters in the preceding 12 months using the Everyday Discrimination Scale. We assessed the socio-demographic correlates of racist experiences and the impact of racism on health system access using multivariable generalised linear models. Sixty percent of participants reported experiencing racism in the preceding 12 months. Based on the adjusted odds ratios, participants were more likely to experience racism if they were older, employed, Canadian-born, had higher levels of education, self-identified as LGBTQ + and reported generally moderate access to basic needs and adequate housing; and less likely to experience racism if they lived in Ottawa, self-identified as female or reported higher levels of social capital. Visiting a healthcare provider or facility, and difficulty accessing healthcare were associated with racist experiences. Racist experiences diminished the likelihood of being tested for HIV. Racist experiences were widespread, especially among those with higher levels of social wellbeing or greater exposure to Canadian institutions. Study participants also associated racist experiences with the healthcare system.


  • Husbands, Winston
  • Lawson, Daeria O
  • Etowa, Egbe B
  • Mbuagbaw, Lawrence
  • Baidoobonso, Shamara
  • Tharao, Wangari
  • Yaya, Sanni
  • Nelson, LaRon E
  • Aden, Muna
  • Etowa, Josephine

publication date

  • October 2022