From the Cradle to the Grave

HOUSTON – It has been said that, “we are here today and gone tomorrow.” However, the reality is that, “we are here today and gone today.” James 4:14 yields a rhetorical question that asks, “…What is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

As it is, African-Americans have a origin of history that dates back to centuries ago in the United States. The term “African-American” is a derivative of two countries’ inhabitants. Individuals labeled as African-Americans come from various places such as: Africa, Caribbean and West Indies. In addition to people from these different regions of the world, there is still a large number of unreported African-Americans.

This assumption is based on the United States’ own definition of what establishes a person as Black. Accordingly, the United States has defined anyone having one single drop of Black blood in them as Black. Therefore, if the total calculations of these numbers were tallied the actual presence of African-Americans portrayed in the US Census would be exceptionally higher than that which is listed now.

Currently, the United States Census has concluded that there are over 45 million African-Americans living in the country. This total makes up about 15 percent of the nation’s population. A projection by the US Census Bureau reveals that, “by the year 2060 there will be 74.5 million African-Americans including those of more than one race in the United States, making up 17.9% of the total U.S. population.” The bureau also explains that, “the largest concentrations of African-Americans is found in the South totaling about 55% of the total group.

Considering that African-American News&Issues is a publication that strives to address current and historical realities affecting our communities, in this edition we have decided to explore some of the leading causes of deaths in members of the Black community.


Abortions & Black on Black Homicide

The future of Black America tomorrow is dependent upon the youth of the community today. Seldom seen are the days when children had the burdensome task of burying their parents. Instead, in recent generations it is becoming a more common thread that parents are burying their children. While this is not necessarily the intended, “order of life” it is seemingly transforming into, “a way of life” for members of the Black community. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the factors associated with fatality rates in the young members of the African-American community. In researching this troubling thought, it was found that abortions and Black on Black homicide are amongst two leading causes of death that are hurting the growth and development of the Black community.

Statistics reveal that African-American babies are three times more likely to be aborted than that of their White counterparts. Regardless of the situation or circumstances surrounding the decision to abort unborn children, it is becoming a leading cause of death amongst members of the Black community. As suggested earlier, this factor only assists with crippling the future of the Black population in America as a whole.

Over the last four decades a striking alarm of one-fourth of the African-American population has been eliminated due to abortions. For every Black baby that is born there is almost an equivalence of one Black embryo that is aborted. It has been found that, “Twice as many African-Americans have died from abortion than have died from AIDS, accidents, violent crimes, cancer and heart disease combined.”

Another leading cause of death that is affecting the future of Black America is Black on Black homicide in young Black males. Although, homicide is ranked as number 8 as a leading cause of death for African-Americans, it is at the top of the list as it relates to young Black males.

Dr. Charles H. Hennekens, published a study which depicted the homicide rates found in the United States in comparison to other countries. In that study he said, “Compared to all other developed countries, the overall homicide rates in the United States are about seven times higher and homicide rates from firearms are about 20 times higher.” He continued by stating, “In 15 to 24-year-olds, firearm homicide rates in the U.S. are about 43 times higher than in other developed countries. Among young Black men, the devastation homicide inflicts is a potentially preventable epidemic.”

This epidemic has not just now become a problem but it is one that has invaded Black communities all over on an enormous scales. Hence, members should strive together to work on one common goal of alleviating homicide of any kind period. Of all of the causes that are being addressed in this article the two that gravely affect the future of the youth of the African-American community are perhaps the most avoidable of them all.


Heart Disease & Cancer

Although various causes have been presented here as it relates to the leading causes of death of members in the Black community; the truth is that of all those referenced heart disease and cancer remain the verifiable top two killers of African-Americans.

The Center for Disease Control has a listing according to all of the deaths recorded by the National Vital Statistics Records database that supports this fact. Amongst African-American men 23.8 percent of the causes of death are caused by heart disease, with cancer following by a 23.1 percentage. In African-American women the numbers are virtually similar with heart disease contributing to 23.4 percent and cancer at 22.9 percent.

Heart disease is collectively a term for any type of disease, defect or disorder that affects the heart. At least half of the United States total population has at least one of the three contributing factors to heart disease which include, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking. Some different forms of heart disease are: angina, arrhythmia, congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, myocardial infarction, heart failure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, mitral regurgitation, mitral valve prolapse and pulmonary stenosis, just to list a few of them. Some tips to members of the Black community to keep the heart regulated to help protect it are: eating a healthy diet that does not contain an overage of salt, taking a 10-minute walk at least 3 times a day for 5 days a week and lastly no smoking.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death for African-Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cancer is, “the term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.” There are various types of cancer that a person may be diagnosed with amongst them are: breast, colon, gynecologic (cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, vulvar), hpv, lung, prostate and skin cancer.

Medical professionals encourage both men and women to ensure that yearly screenings are performed. Early detection has proven to assist some individuals diagnosed with cancer as a greater success level in regards to treatment planning and options. Techniques to prevent the risk of certain cancers are receiving regular medical care, avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol use, abstaining from excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds and practicing good eating and exercise habits.

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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