Online Program

Challenges facing African-American communities in the Deep South as perceived by male residents and community leaders

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Susan L. Davies, PhD, School of Public Health/Department of Health Behavior, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Lonnie Hannon, PhD, Department of Sociology, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL
Yookyong Lee, PhD, Department of Social Work, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Herpreet Thind, PhD, MPH, MBBS, Brown University School of Medicine and The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI
Susan Andreae, MPH, Medicine / Division of Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Background: African-American males living in resource-poor communities are vulnerable to isolation and disconnection from the mainstream.  It is critical to address how to reach and engage them and to enhance their future trajectories.  We used the capital-based theoretical perspective to examine the multi-dimensional phenomenon of health disparity, school dropout, unemployment, and crime that persist in a southern urban community. 

Methods: Through semi-structured interviews, focus groups, individual surveys, and community ethnography procedures, we ascertained the perceptions, experiences and beliefs of three audience segments: (1) sexually active young African American males (ages 18 to 24); (2)  parents/relatives/guardians of young African American males and community citizens; and (3) various community leaders (e.g., service providers/clinicians, school personnel, police officers). 

Results: The results revealed multiple unmet needs, from experiencing challenging conditions in school (e.g., failure, disconnect), the community (e.g., poverty, violence, lack of transportation, racism, dearth of pro-social opportunities, peer pressure for early sexual initiation, prostitution) and/or within their homes (e.g., addictions, child maltreatment, lack of parent/caregiver involvement).  The participants also rated unemployment, substandard quality education, and lack of job/career training as the most important issues facing their community. 

Implications: They recognized the great need for health equity as well as economic rehabilitation in the community.  Unemployment in southern urban communities is causing serious repercussions for minority males, their families and communities as a whole.  Providing opportunity for employment education and training developed and operated by community members may be an essential commodity for revitalizing communities and reversing the growing health disparities.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the specific needs of African-American male youth and the ways in which communities can help in reaching and responding to the identified needs Discuss the feasibility of various efforts to reduce risk behaviors in young African-American males through local community-based channels.

Keyword(s): Community Development, Minority Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal investigator (PI) of this research study, and have served as PI and/or collaborator on many other federally funded research studies seeking to improve physical and emotional health of African American individuals and families living in resource-poor urban communities in the south.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.