This young, Black, female scientist from NC leads efforts to find a COVID-19 vaccine

As a teenager growing up in Hillsborough, Kizzmekia Corbett had never seen a Black scientist before. Then she walked into a lab at UNC-Chapel Hill one summer, met Albert Russell, a PhD student, and for the first time believed she could be one.

Now, at 34, Corbett is the scientific lead for the government’s search for a coronavirus vaccine at the National Institutes of Health.

“It made all the difference, I’m probably here because of that,” Corbett said. “Just knowing that it was possible.”

She’s become that example that she never saw and is now an assurance to other inquisitive, smart girls with an interest in science that anything is possible.

Corbett is a young, Black woman in a sea of older, white men in suits and lab coats. She’s making appearances on national TV as a scientific expert, briefing President Donald Trump about potential COVID-19 vaccines and working on

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Yes, historians do teach that first Black members of Congress were Republicans

The claim: Historians do not teach that the first Black members of Congress were Republicans

A viral meme, posted on Instagram, features a well-known lithograph of the first Black members of Congress, with a bold statement.

“History not taught,” it says. “The first 23 Black congressmen were Republican.”

“You won’t be taught this,” wrote Ryan Fournier, the co-chair of Students for Trump, whose watermark appears on the meme, on his Instagram account. “The Republicans were the anti-slavery party.”

It is mostly accurate that the Republican Party formed to oppose the extension of slavery, although up until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Abraham Lincoln and other Republicans pledged not to interfere with slavery in states where it existed. And the first 23 African Americans in Congress did belong to the Republican Party, due to the GOP’s support of voting rights and the Democratic Party’s embrace of white supremacy.

But the

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Racism causes life-threatening conditions for black men every day

<span class="caption">A portrait of George Floyd hangs on a street light pole as police officers stand guard at the Third Police Precinct during a face off with a group of protesters on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis. </span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/portrait-of-george-floyd-hangs-on-a-street-light-pole-as-news-photo/1215796055?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Stephen Maturen/Getty Images">Stephen Maturen/Getty Images</a></span>
A portrait of George Floyd hangs on a street light pole as police officers stand guard at the Third Police Precinct during a face off with a group of protesters on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

High-profile police shootings and deaths of black men in custody – or even while out jogging – bring cries of racism across the country. The May 25 death of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis and the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23, 2020 by a white father and son have resulted in outrage and protests in cities across the U.S.

But, as a public health researcher who studies the effects of racism on the health of black men, I have found that the life-and-death effects of racism in the U.S. go far beyond police shootings. I also have found that, while racism

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