James Lamont Dubose Discusses Why He Believes There Needs to be More Programming Addressing the Issue of Vaccine Hesitancy in the Black Community, and the Importance of Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

James Dubose

July 9, 2021

James Lamont Dubose Discusses Why He Believes There Needs to be More Programming Addressing the Issue of Vaccine Hesitancy in the Black Community, and the Importance of Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

 

 

The Fox Soul Head of programming says that strategic programming and positive media messaging is needed now more than ever to combat decades of the mistrust and animus African Americans feel towards vaccines.

James Lamont DuBose the head of programming for FOX SOUL says that the introduction of more programming that educates and encourages people in African American Communities is needed to help the United States reach herd immunity status. “There have been a number of public service announcements airing over the course of the last few months that encourages people to go get the COVID-19 vaccine. I just don’t believe they are doing enough to reach African Americans specifically. Being able to see a celebrity get the injection might motivate some in the black community, however, more has to be done to reach those who are hesitant about getting the vaccine.”, James Lamont DuBose said.

 

Mr. DuBose stated that when it comes to vaccines and clinical trials, decision makers at networks across the nation have to think strategically about how to reach people where they are. “I am aware of the fact that the only way to eradicate COVID-19 is to get as many people fully vaccinated as possible, regardless, I still have to be cognizant of the fact that there is a lot of fear and anxiousness in the African American community when it comes to vaccines. I understand where those concerns come from. In many ways people who have lived long enough to remember when in the year of 1932, 600 black men were told they were being treated for “bad blood”, when in all actuality, the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male was being conducted.” James Lamont DuBose said.

 

According to Mr. DuBose, the lingering effect of the study, which is now known as USPHS Syphilis Study at Tuskegee, planted the seeds of skepticism and distrust years ago. “People still have apprehensions about anything the government does, due the history of how it used black bodies as test subjects without informed consent. This historical fact can’t be re-written. It is also hard to erase the fact that although penicillin was vastly available, and the go-to treatment for syphilis in 1943, was never offered to the men who were the involuntary participants of the study.” James Lamont DuBose said.

 

One thing Mr. DuBose said would help garner more support for the vaccine in the African American community, is for network programming to focus on how COVID-19 affects people who have certain diseases which are known to be more prominent in the black community. I remember there was an episode of “Good Times” that focused on high blood pressure and its prominence among African American males. The episode highlighted the correlation between stress and poverty and the disease. I can remember how powerful that episode was, and how much conversation it generated. There were men scheduling appointments to see their physicians that never thought about seeing a doctor after that episode aired. This is the direction I believe programming must go in now during the age of COVID-19.’, James Lamont DuBose said.