Segregation, Poverty, and Mortality in Urban African Americans


This book examines mortality rates for African-Americans in selected U.S. urban areas in relation to both social class and the degree of black-white residential segregation. Mortality rates for African-American infants and young adults are shown to be especially high in certain highly-segregated areas. The findings will foster the development of the "epidemiology of American apartheid", a new field of research that has relevance to social and health policy. The intended audience includes sociologists (especially medical sociologists) who are likely to be familiar with segregation but not with its potential relevance to the health of African-Americans. Epidemiologists have recently turned to the study of racism and health, but epidemiologic studies have not dealt specifically with black-white segregation and health. Psychologists interested in racism are important potential collaborators with sociologists and epidemiologists in studies of the epidemiology of racial difference in health. Readers working in social policy and health policy areas, including urban issues, should also find relevant material. This work fits within the framework of Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal's thesis that the American creed of equality of opportunity remains unfulfilled.