When my son was just eight weeks and two days into his gestational period, I settled my anxiety of giving birth to a Black male. The night before I gave birth, unlike his twin sister, he was hovered up into the corner of my womb and his heart rate had begun to slow down. That following morning, he was born. Now 20, my Black son has dreams and aspirations but there is the threat of death in the air.
From 2001 to 2015, the suicide risk for Black boys between the ages of 5 and 11 was two to three times higher than that of White boys, according to a new research letter in JAMA Pediatrics (Bridge, 2018). This concerning trend continues through adolescence as reported by the Nationwide Youth Risk Behavior Survey (Kann et al., 2017). The rates of attempted suicide, including attempts that resulted in an injury, poisoning, or overdose, are 1.2x higher among Black males compared to White males.