Among black men, 19 percent — nearly one in five — will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and five percent of those will die from this disease.
In fact, prostate cancer is the fourth most common reason overall for death in African-American men.
Last year, I lost my best friend to colon cancer. He was only 43 years old.
Men often suffer in silence when it comes to physical and mental health. Around the world, on average, men die almost six years earlier than women. Globally, a man dies every minute from suicide.
Recently, the World Health Organization’s bulletin on men’s health stated, “Health outcomes among men and boys continue to be substantially worse than among girls and women, yet this gender-based inequality in health has received little national, regional or global acknowledgment or attention from health policy-makers or health-care providers.”
This is why organizations such as the Movember Foundation are so important. They bring much-needed attention to the state of men’s health throughout the year, but especially during Movember.
At the beginning of November, men around the world start clean-shaven and then grow mustaches for the month to raise funds and awareness to combat prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health problems, and other men’s health issues.
To give you some Movember inspiration, here are the Top 10 Mustaches in American American History.
Bass Reeves – Legendary African-American Lawman and Lone Ranger
Bass Reeves is commonly known as the Real Lone Ranger. Born into slavery in 1838, Reeves eventually escaped and fled to the Natives Territory where he lived among the Cherokee, Creeks, and Seminoles.
Reeves, who was a skilled marksman and detective, was recruited to be the first black deputy to serve west of the Mississippi River in 1875. When he retired in 1907, Reeves had recorded over 3,000 arrests including some of the most dangerous criminals of the time.
Billy Dee Williams – Actor and Dancing with the Stars contestant
Over his six-decade career, Billie Dee Williams Williams has appeared in at least 70 films including critically acclaimed and popular movies such as Lady Sings the Blues, Mahogany, Nighthawks, Batman, and The Lego Batman Movie.
Williams is best known as outlaw turned General, Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars franchise (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker)
He earned an Emmy nomination in 1971 for his portrayal of Gale Sayers in the ABC Movie of the Week, Brian’s Song.
Williams also competed in the celebrity dance competition Dancing with the Stars.
Steve Harvey – Television Host and Comedian
He starred in the sitcom The Steve Harvey Show on The WB and was later featured in the standup comedy film, The Original Kings of Comedy which was directed by Spike Lee.
Harvey hosts The Steve Harvey Morning Show (radio), Family Feud, the Miss Universe competition, and Fox’s New Year’s Eve. Other hosting duties included Showtime at the Apollo, Little Big Shots, Steve Harvey (talk show), Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Steve Harvey’s Funderdome.
Harvey has also written four books including his bestseller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.
Richard Roundtree – Actor
Richard Roundtree is best known for his portrayal of private detective John Shaft in the 1971 film Shaft, and its four sequels.
During his 60-year entertainment career, Roundtree has appeared in over 150 TV shows and movies.
Rountree also provided voice talent for the video games, Akuji the Heartless and Scarface: The World Is Yours.
Eric Holder – Attorney General of the United States
Eric Holder served as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2015. He was the first African American to hold this position.
Gordon Parks – Photographer, Author, Director
Gordon Parks was a true renaissance man. He was skilled in photography, music, painting, writing, and filmmaking. His photography was instrumental in shedding light on issues of civil rights, poverty, and the African-American community.
Parks was the first African American to produce and direct major motion pictures including Shaft (See Richard Roundtree above).
Parks’ book, The Learning Tree, is required reading in many school districts.
Walter and Wallace Scott from The Whispers – R&B Singers
Walter and Wallace Scott are twin brothers and lead singers of the R&B group, The Whispers. The band has been recording since the late 60s. Their biggest hit, Rock Steady, produced by Antonio “L.A.” Reid & Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987.
Demond Wilson – Actor
Demond Wilson is best known for his role as Lamont Sanford in the NBC sitcom Sanford and Son. He also starred as Oscar Madison in the ABC sitcom The New Odd Couple.
Frederick Douglass – Abolitionist
Frederick Douglass was a former slave turned abolitionist, speaker, writer, and statesman. His popular autobiographies Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, My Bondage and My Freedom, and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass chronicled his life journey and experiences.
Ted Lange – Actor
Ted Lange is best known as the 0bartender, Isaac, on The Love Boat.
He has appeared in various films and guest roles on 227, The Cleveland Show, Scrubs, Drake & Josh, The King of Queens, Boy Meets World, Psych, and Are We There Yet.
Little Richard – Musician and Inventor of Rock and Roll
Little Richard, born Richard Wayne Penniman is known as “The Innovator, The Originator, and The Architect of Rock and Roll.” His most popular hits include “Tutti Frutti”, “Long Tall Sally”, “Keep A-Knockin'” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly.”
You can support the efforts to improve men’s health by donating to Movember or starting your own Movember campaign.