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When news broke that Don Cornelius, the iconic founder of Soul Train, committed suicide on Feb. 1, the nation reacted with shock and an outpouring of grief. Spontaneous Soul Train Lines broke out in New York’s Times Square and condolences flooded social media platforms as his legacy was celebrated. Still, the manner in which Cornelius died is a painful reminder that despite public perception being the opposite, suicide is a mental health issue that is pertinent to the African American community.

“The discussion of Don Cornelius is an opportunity to talk about suicide in the Black community and access to mental health services,” says Sean Joe, the Associate Professor of Social Work and Associate Director of the Program for Research of Black Americans at the University of Michigan.

Read how suicide is affecting the African American community at Black

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