For more than 35 years, Dr. Kirk has been studying, teaching, and researching the literature of black suicide. In this landmark study, Black Suicide: The Tragic Reality of America’s Deadliest Secret, he discusses several theories about suicide. Then he examines social, economic, religious, political, psychological, and racial forces that contribute to black suicide.
He provides a unique perspective in his chapter on survivors—those left behind after a suicide. They describe how the suicide of their loved ones has affected their lives, destroyed their dreams, and left them in a state of turmoil and pain.
Finally, Dr. Kirk recommends ways both to help reduce the number of suicides and detect behaviors that are destructive to black people. Any one suicide is unacceptable, he maintains, and we must do all that we can to stop it.
Only in recent years have black people begun to recognize that suicide is a major problem for the African-American community. Suicide within this population exists in far greater numbers and for a longer period than many people realize, declares Dr. Alton R. Kirk.