What is Hypertension?

Hypertension (or high blood pressure) affects African American men earlier and more often than other groups. Some attribute this higher rate of hypertension to the lingering effects of slavery, as well as historical and current forms of systemic racism. The negative health consequences of high blood pressure are often complicated by the health care system’s history of unequal treatment of Black people and their resulting distrust of the system.

Own YOUR Health

If left uncontrolled, hypertension can increase the chances of kidney disease, heart disease, heart failure, and stroke, which can begin to show up in a person’s 30s. Black men are twice as likely to be hospitalized from high blood pressure, or its many complications. These illnesses can be avoided or treated by finding a trusted healthcare provider and partnering together to take control of your health.

Taking on hypertension is an act of self-love and another way to fight racism. Here are some tips to help you own your health:

1. Find a healthcare provider you trust, and always ask questions

2. Work with your healthcare provider to find medicines that work for you

3. Know your numbers, and follow your medical advice

4. Ask your healthcare provider if they can prescribe a blood pressure monitor for you to use at home

Meet the Men

Randy's Story

“Go get checked out! Ask them to please explain to me thoroughly what’s going on.”

Tyrone's Story

“Just remember, you have help! You have to go find it. You have to go research it for yourself, just like I had to go research it for myself. You can do the same thing.”

Jorrel's Story

“Take action, because if you don’t take action on it – it will take action on you.”

Charles' Story

“The medical doctor will be a resource when it comes to changing the narrative of Black and brown men’s health; that’s building a bridge.”