A review of Contemporary Public Health: Principles, Practice, and Policy by James W. Holsinger, Jr. (Lexington, The University of Kentucky Press, 2013. 395 pp., ISBN 978-0-8131-4123-7) reviewed by Eric R. Jackson (Book Review Editor, The Journal of Pan African Studies; firstname.lastname@example.org) Associate Professor, Department of History and Geography; Director--Black Studies Program; Northern Kentucky University and Barbara J. Jackson, (email@example.com) BSN and Registered Nurse
As the education and income of persons of color in the United States have increased over the past half century, the mortality rate of African Americans have gradually declined. However, Black Americans still continue to suffer from greater incidences of harsh illnesses and deadly diseases. In 1970, when these types of statistics first where recorded in a coherent fashion, the life expectancy of African American women was 68.3 years compared to 60 years for African American men. By 2009 the statistics had increased to 76.5 years and 69.5 years respectively. Dramatic improvements in the areas of access to proper healthcare systems and important medicines were in partly responsible for the increase. However, these statistics still fell well below their white counterparts who's were 75.7 for men and 80.8 for women during the same year. Also, higher infant mortality rates and a greater number of death from controllable, deadly diseases continues to be very persistent in many African American communities.
Cancer and HIV/AIDS, for examples, still remains among the most powerful threat to the good health of thousands of African Americans. Black American men are more likely to develop and die from cancer compared to white men after being diagnosed with the disease within a five year period. Proportionately speaking African American women have a lower incidence of contracting cancer but an extremely higher rate of death once they are diagnosed with it, compared to white women. Cancer is a complicated disease that is caused by many factors, from environmental to heavy drinking to obesity to the lack of knowledge about preventive healthcare measures. A lack of access to health insurance or quality health care also is linked to these types of behavior patterns. Furthermore, many African Americans still continue to have a distrust of the healthcare industry based on various historical reasons. Recently, however, thousands of African Americans have been able to...