More people of color are taking up running for either sport or for leisure. For some, it’s about building a social community of support, while others are hitting the pavement for the mental and physical health benefits gained from exercise.
However, running still has many barriers preventing people of color from achieving their fitness goals, including traffic in urban areas, unstable sidewalks and roadways, unleashed dogs and lack of green spaces and parks that may keep people from exercising in their neighborhood. But an unsafe environment is not the only reason for runners’ hesitancy. The murder of Ahmaud Arbery added to Black and brown runners’ fear of hypervigilant actors and unprovoked harassment.
This Patriot’s Day weekend, runners and spectators are excited for the return for the 126th annual Boston Marathon, which will also celebrate 50 years of women being allowed to run the race. Despite the criticism the marathon has faced over its lack of diversity and representation in past years, organizers are partnering with advocates and designing new initiatives and events to increase awareness of the sport withing communities of color.
This week on Basic Black, host Callie Crossley will be joined by Adrienne Benton, member of the board of governors for the Boston Athletic Association; Thaddeus Miles, founder of HoodFit; Ruben Sança, co-chair of the adult and youth running cohort for the Boston Running Collaborative, B.A.A.; and Dr. Charles Anderson, president and CEO of The Dimock Center.
Watch the latest episode of Basic Black tonight at 7:30 p.m. on GBH 2 or live at the stream below. You can also watch on the GBH News YouTube channel. Subscribe to get notifications for future premiere episodes.