Comments With Dr. James Haney Presents*African American Youth and Keys to Future Success, with Rev. KWalker, Part 3
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These statistics are important because they give researchers an idea of where to place emphasis when they search for solutions to the problems associated with teen deaths in Tennessee.
In addition to accidental deaths the Report examined teen violent deaths in homicide and suicide. Weapons and drugs are frequently implicated in these violent deaths, with alcohol being the most popular drug among teens. "As weapons and drugs become more and more accessible to teenagers," the Report said, "the combination of the two serves to heighten emotions and escalate violence, resulting in a deadly synergism."
While white teens were most likely to die in accidents and by suicide, homicide is more prevalent among African American teens. "In fact," the Report noted, "the firearm death rate nationwide for African American teen males was 2.8 times the rate for natural causes in 1988." In Tennessee, African American homicide firearm deaths in 1990 almost tripled those of 1980.
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