Compiled by AFRO Staff | Word In Black

This post was originally published on Afro

(WIB) – In March of 2020 the activities of day-to-day life came to a grinding halt as the coronavirus pandemic began. No country has been left untouched by COVID-19, the condition caused by the virus. 

Communities across the globe have struggled to combat an enemy you can’t see- a coronavirus moving at uncontrollable speed thanks to innovations in travel. In 2020 and again in 2021 and 2022, schools shut down, hospitals overflowed and millions became mere statistics, suddenly grappling with food, job and housing insecurity. 

The coronavirus pandemic that began in 2020 and carries on to this day has been an unfathomable plot out of a movie for most- that is, unless you are an avid reader of the AFRO archives. 

Take a look through the AFRO archives today to learn how the Black community survived and thrived after the last great pandemic, which took the world by storm in 1918. In October 1918 churches closed in efforts to stop the spread of the flu in the United States. In Texas, ministers began holding services outside.By October 1918, the flu pandemic was ravaging troops on every side. An AFRO report on the situation at Camp Sevier in South Carolina, where soldiers were being shot for trying to escape the quarantined military base. In 2020 the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold in the United States. The AFRO was there with original coverage of how COVID-19 impacted the Black community. The AFRO has covered the coronavirus from every angle- to include the impact of COVID-19 on schools, Black businesses and churches.

Take a dive into the Fall 1918, early 1919 papers on record from the AFRO-American Newspaper and one might feel like they are experiencing deja-vu with reports of school closures, mask mandates, a rising death toll and a population frustrated with quarantine. 

Check out our coverage here and visit the AFRO Vault at for more stories from the archives! You can also access past editions of the AFRO, dating back to1893, by using your library card to virtually visit the “Maryland Newspapers” section of the Enoch Pratt Free Library website. 

The post Pandemic blues: how the Black community weathered a global pandemic – again appeared first on AFRO American Newspapers .