CDC: Black Women Have Defied the Trend of Declining Overall Life Expectancies


By Victor Trammell

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report last week, which revealed that the American adult life expectancy rate has fallen off to a lower year amount for the first time in over two decades.

Courtland Milloy, a columnist for The Washington Post wrote an article, which was published online by the national newspaper this past Tuesday (December 13th). Milloy’s creatively expressive and informative article went into detail about the CDC’s findings. He also vividly showed how black women in America have defied the odds like no other demographic. Milloy colorfully quoted the following:

The results are in, the conclusion inescapable: Black women are exceptional, phenomenal even. The latest evidence is perhaps the most compelling: While life expectancy for the country declined last year, the black woman held her own. Ironic, isn’t it? White men and women, Hispanic men and women, and black men all took a hit, according a report last week by the Centers for Disease Control. The nation’s overall life expectancy declined for the first time since 1993. (The Washington Post)

Milloy went on to include excerpts of commentary, which was attributed to Linda Goler Blount, president and chief executive of Black Women’s Health Imperative, a national health advocacy nonprofit located in Washington D.C.  Blount was quoted as saying:

“What we are seeing is that the message about the importance of health is getting through to black women. The data show that the majority of us know that we need to improve and are working on it. We also understand the importance of having a positive attitude. When black women are asked to define what good health means, we say things such as ‘being calm’ or ‘being at peace.’ We don’t use diseases to define it. We don’t let a condition like obesity define who we are, even though we work on getting into shape.”(The Washington Post)

Black women are structurally defying the odds in a positive manner in many other ways, which is definitely contributing to their uncanny ability to survive. They are currently the most formally educated demographic alive in America. Black women are also making huge strides in the business climate as a growing force in the entrepreneurial world. It’s also worth noting that the CDC tallied the life expectancy rates of White men and women, Hispanic men and women, and Black men.

All of those demographics did not fare as well as black women did over time, according to the CDC. This moment of truth is definitely setting the stage for something very special and historically relevant in the near future for black women in America. Time will reveal what amazing feat they are primed to accomplish due to their ability to persevere in a country that is hell bent on their destruction.

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