Alexa Imani Spencer, Health and Race Reporter: Word in Black

Season 1 | Episode 159
30m | Jan 30, 2024

On this episode we’re joined by Alexa Imani Spencer. Alexa reports on racial health equity for Word in Black, a newsroom that frames narratives and fosters solutions for racial inequities in America. It was founded after the murder of George Floyd. She previously worked for the Memphis Commercial Appeal and also writes about maternal health.

Alexa talked about her early journalism origin story and how going to Howard University shaped her as a journalist. She shared her experience as a doula, helping women through labor and baby delivery. And she was frank about how covering breaking news stories in Memphis impacted her mental health.

We went through different examples of her work, including a story about black maternity care deserts and an interview with the family of Henrietta Lacks (the subject of a book and movie about stolen cells used for medical research). She explained that her goal was to create a catalog of how racism impacted health carte in America and discussed her passion for ethics and training in trauma reporting.

Alexa’s salute: Nikole Hannah-Jones

(also prominently mentioned, Howard University’s Ingrid Sturgis and Dr. Yanick Rice Lamb).

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