NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

An Epidemic of Black-on-Black Murders

December 5, 2001

Homicide among blacks has reached epidemic proportions. But critics say the problem is not receiving the attention it deserves -- particularly in the black community.

The subject was not even on the agenda at last week's State of the Black World Conference held in Atlanta.

  • African-Americans are six times more likely to be murdered than whites.
  • Between 1976 and 1999, some 94 percent of black murder victims were killed by other African-Americans.
  • Nearly two-thirds of black homicides were drug related.
  • Homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American men between ages 15 and 24 -- and it accounts for more deaths of black men ages 25 to 44 than does heart disease, cancer or diabetes.

It also is the second leading cause of death among black women ages 25 to 44.

Source: DeWayne Wickham, "Root Out Black Murderers," USA Today, December 4, 2001.


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