by Dr. Boyce Watkins.
Many of us have seen the dismal statistics for black males in America. African American men are at the bottom of the barrel in nearly every category of life, including healthcare, education, incarceration, and unemployment. Many of us raise our black boys with little to no understanding of how many of these statistics are perpetuated by a series of systems that serve to enhance and promote a lifestyle that leads to an early death. That is one reason why we’ve expressed concern for hip-hop music, fueled by corporate America, that promotes a self-destructive lifestyle that many young men emulate.
It turns out that the facts might be worse than many could have speculated. According to a recent study, black men are half as likely to die in prison than if they are free. The authors of the study claim that easier access to healthcare, protection from drugs and alcohol and the ability to avoid deadly black-on-black violence leads to a longer life span for those who are incarcerated. African American males are the only group for which these facts hold true, according to the authors of the study.