Bringing to light the health needs of African-American men: The Overtown Men's Health Study

April M W Young, Leda M. Perez, Mary Northridge, Rubiahna L. Vaughn, Kisha Braithwaite, Henrie M. Treadwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The harsh intersections of racism and sexism in US society have contorted roles for African-American men and damaged their social ties, thereby contributing to excess morbidity and mortality in communities of color. The Overtown Men's Health Study is used here as a case study to examine the health needs of African-American men. Methods: Men aged 18 years and older who resided in the neighborhood of Overtown within Miami, Florida, USA completed an in-person survey administered at 15 community sites: 3 housing complexes, 3 rooming houses, 3 commercial sites, 2 abandoned buildings, 1 large and 1 small public park, 1 union hall, and 1 community center. Results: The vast majority of respondents (n = 129) were identified as Black/African-American (95.3%). Just 9.3% of the men surveyed were currently married, yet over half were fathers (59.7%). Nearly two-thirds (62.8%) of the men in Overtown reported drinking alcohol, and almost half (47.3%) reported smoking cigarettes. Only one of three (33.3%) Overtown men reported having a primary care physician or health practitioner, and only one of five (20.2%) had received dental care in the previous 12 months. A remarkable one of four (25.6%) Overtown men reported having been a victim of police violence, and nearly two-thirds (65.9%) reported having been incarcerated. Conclusions: These findings are a call to action issuing from Overtown to other distressed neighborhoods of color within central cities through the USA. Urgent pursuit of measures for reducing social disparities in health for African-American men is ethically compulsory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-148
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Men's Health and Gender
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • African-American health
  • Gender
  • Health care policy
  • Men's health
  • Prison health
  • Urban health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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