‘Don’t try to be macho’: 1st annual 5K wellness walk to promote Black men’s health at Texas Southern University

Wellness screenings also offered at event

The National African American Male Wellness Agency hosted the 1st ever walk at Texas Southern University, and local groups are making sure Black men in Houston are prioritizing their health.

“It’s a walk to save black mens lives and its nice for someone to acknowledge that to care that our lives matter in that sense,” said Abdul Kargbo, who participated in the event.

Step by step, people walk together, encouraging African American men to prioritize their health.

“Earlier this year I just decided to make sure that I was trying to look into my health and make sure I was healthy,” said Michael Harris.

Studies show African American men die 12 years earlier than their white counterparts. Organizers say limited socio-economic factors and limited access to health care play a part in that.

“Too many of us are dying at the ages of 67 years old and its in the hand of preventable diseases,” said Kenny Hampton, African American Male Wellness Agency President.

Hundreds of people took advantage of the free health screening where they could check for prostate cancer, blood pressure, and peripheral artery disease.

“If you’re a black American, your risk of having an amputation is up to four times higher than white Americans and after you’ve had an amputation,youre risk of being dead is 50% in one year and over 70% in three years,” said Richard Browne, Sr. Medical Executive of Health System Strategy and Health Equity with Johnson & Johnson. “Every year we experience at every walk, someone learns numbers that are alarming enough that someone has to immediately go to the hospital.”

Mayor Sylvester Turner also participated In the screenings as the honorary chair.

“My advice to everyone, but men in particular, don’t try to be macho; don’t try to work and play through the pain, if you’re body is talking to you, listen,” he said.

The National African American Male Wellness Agency says they have walked in 18 different cities all over the nation.

About the Authors:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 3, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.

Corley Peel is a Texas native and Texas Tech graduate who covered big stories in Joplin, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida before returning to the Lone Star State. When not reporting, Corley enjoys hot yoga, Tech Football, and finding the best tacos in town.