Reality Check: Black Infant Mortality is Real

Our series— The_Gap— is scripted and designed to illuminate the factors which lead to Black Infant Mortality and Maternal Morbidity. Thanks to journalist @_erinmansfield for reporting on the townhall event and the sheer importance of the topic:



Local Activist and NAACP Leader Present an Important Townhall

Denton, TX — February 22, 2018 — Willie Hudspeth announced today that he is organizing a ‘townhall’ meeting to bring attention to black infant mortality (BIMR) and maternal morbidity rates throughout North Texas. As a recent study from the University of Texas System revealed, there are wide variations in counties and even zip codes— but sadly, according to the study, black mothers and infants suffer the highest death rates.

The ‘townhall’ meeting will feature three speakers at the leading edge of the societal and medical implications of this public health crisis. Nikia Lawson, founder of The Natural Birthing Project leads an organization that focuses on education, advocacy and support for Moms exhibiting risks for complicated pregnancies with to obtain better outcomes. Talaun Simmons, PhD, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas-Arlington, understands and interprets the data and metrics around this topic. Lindell Singleton, documentary film producer and director, is developing a two-part television series entitled, ‘The_Gap,’ which will explore the eight factors which influence this topic and present a framework for solutions. Singleton, along with Garrett Graham, former adjunct professor at UNT, will screen the trailer for “The_Gap” at the ‘townhall.’

“It is important that we consider the future of Denton County and all of the North Texas region. We must simplify the complexity of health care and improve access as this is essential to mothers, children and families. It’s my belief that what happens to our mothers and children has a direct impact on our future. We need revolutionary ideas and approaches to create a different future,” said Hudspeth.

Location: City of Denton-Police Training Center – 719 East Hickory, Denton, Texas
Date: February 28, 2018
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Contact: 323.282.8554


Syed Hassan, candidate for Tarrant County Commissioner (Precinct 2) arranged a townhall meeting in Arlington, Texas to raise awareness around issues of black infant and black maternal mortality. Thanks to Nikkia Lawson and Dr. Talaun Simmons for being a part of this. Extraordinary insight on how this matter is affecting Texans. @Lindel153

Traditionally,  the Hispanic infant mortality rate has been lower than the rate for Black babies.  From this study commissioned by the University of Texas, there are zip codes in San Antonio where the infant mortality rate exceeds 16 deaths for every 1000 live births. The state average is  around six, with the average for black babies hovering around 13 for every 1000 births. The trend should be going in a different direction. With our series, we’re going to shine the light as to why this disparity exists. Watch our sizzle reel. Support The_Gap. @Lindell153