The rates of suicide among black women are the lowest of any group. Why is this so, and why doesn't anyone want to talk about why it is so?
While driving around today, I got to thinking about why it is that despite all of the challenges we face and lack of privileges, black women are the least likely (by leaps and bounds) to give up on life and choose to commit suicide compared to other groups?
White males have the most privileges of all groups in the United States, but they are by far the most likely to sink so deeply into misery that they choose to take their own lives. How can you have so many privileges but still have such a negative viewpoint of life?
I've discussed this briefly on my blog in the past, but I feel that it needs to be highlighted again. The stats are amazing, to say the least, and I'm really surprised that the mainstream media doesn't talk about these concerning stats more. At the very least they should be investigating solutions. I guess it's because these statistics, for once, place black women in a positive light, and that doesn't fit with the media's "formula."
Here are the facts:
(Out of 100,000 people)
The rate for white men is 25.96%
The rate for white women is 6.71%
The rate for black men is ~11%
The rate for black women is ~ 2%
Doesn't that extremely high rate for white men concern anyone? Men in general have higher rates than women, so maybe the media should discuss their problems more and investigate these stats in more detail.
(And ironically, despite these statistics women are still called the "weaker sex.")
Seriously, think about this. Being black and a woman in America comes with a number of disadvantages compared to being white and a man in America. Black women are constantly slandered for being what God made us, while white men (and women) sit on a pedestal for the most part. They get the benefit of the doubt for everything from walking into a store to shop, to getting a job, while black women are instantly judged negatively for everything based on what people see in the media.
So how do you explain these suicide rates?
There are three main theories that can explain this phenomena.
1) With additional societal pressure to be perfect due to the privileges that they enjoy, white males become devastated and can't deal with the disappointment when they don't measure up to their peers.
2) Lack of an upbringing that discourages suicide OR there isn't enough of a belief in what could happen in the Afterlife.
3) Black women are simply stronger and more resilient in the face of life's challenges than other groups.
I believe that all of these theories play a part in why black women have the lowest suicide rates, but I lean toward the third to explain most of these results. Black women are just more resilient in the face of adversity.
It may be our hard past, the way we were raised, being used to struggle, belief in God or the strong encouragement/legacy of our ancestors pushing us on, but the fact of the matter is that we do what we have to do. We keep going.
Black Women Are Ridiculed for Being Strong, But Is it Just Admiration in Disguise?
Though this important fact is swept under the rug and not publicized as much as stories about "why black women are overweight" or "why black women are single," I think it is a major accomplishment that black women simply do not allow the pressures of life to force them to commit such a sad and final act as suicide.
So the next time someone ridicules black women for being "too strong" or "too independent," I will just look at it as an expression of admiration. Instead of making fun of a black woman, maybe you can learn something from her.
Maybe it would help to experience the struggles of a black woman to truly appreciate the value of life and also to learn how to rise above the madness.