African American Women’s Reports of Racism during Hurricane Katrina: Variation by Interviewer Race

  • Sarah R. Lowe University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Kara Lustig University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Helen B. Marrow Tufts University


This study investigated the effects of interviewer race on low-income African American female hurricane survivors’ reports of racism during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath (N = 41). Respondents were asked directly about the role of racism during the storm and evacuation by one of three interviewers (two White females and one African American female). Contrary to expectations, respondents were not significantly more likely to agree that racism played a role during the hurricane and its aftermath when with an African American interviewer compared to a White interviewer. However, when speaking to the White interviewers versus the African American interviewer, respondents were significantly more likely to use qualifying and contradictory statements and to make references to other races also being victims of the hurricane.


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