Hybrid Seminar with the Black Health and the Humanities Network: The Measurement of Race and its impact on understanding how light-skin privilege shapes health outcomes.

February 28, 2024
Portrait photograph of a black female smiling, wearing gold, loop earrings

On Thursday 15 February 2024 the Measurement Lab as delighted to co-host Dr Tanisha Spratt, a Senior Lecturer in Racism and Health in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London.

This was a hybrid seminar run in collaboration with the Black Health and the Humanities Network, part of a series of research events exploring issues at the intersection of race, healthcare, and research culture. Dr Spratt reflected on her experiences conducting research into light-skin privilege and its link to poor health outcomes amongst Black British women. Her work revealed that light skin was protective at a systemic level but not necessarily at an individual level because it could lead to exclusion from health protecting solidarity spaces and heighted racism-induced stress. Her work was of particular interest to the work of the Measurement Lab for two reasons. First, it explored how slippage between seemingly biological and cultural categorisations of race impact health experiences. Second, her compelling concluding questions about the methodology of the researcher reflected on the epistemic disadvantages of being perceived as an ‘insider’ or an ‘outsider’ by her research participants. Of particular interest in this discussion was how technology, in this case Zoom, moderated the perception and measurement of race. You can read more about Dr Tanisha Spratt’s work here.

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