A new study by The Violence Policy Center (VPC), a non-profit educational and research organization, sheds some chilling light on the epidemic of murder raging through the African-American community, especially among young males.

From 2002 to 2007, the number of young black male homicide victims rose by 31 percent, VPC stated. The number of young black homicide victims killed by guns rose at even sharper 54 percent rate.

The researchers conclude that black people in the United States are disproportionately affected by homicide.

In 2008, blacks represented 13 percent of the nation’s population, but accounted for 48 percent of all homicide victims.

“The devastation homicide inflicts on black teens and adults is a national crisis, yet it is all too often ignored outside of affected communities,” VPC asserted,

According to the FBI, in 2008 there were 6,841 black homicide victims in the U.S., meaning that the homicide rate among black victims in the country was 18.07 per 100,000 (the overall national homicide rate was 4.93 per 100,000; for whites, the national homicide rate was 2.99 per 100,000).

Moreover, of the 6,841 black homicide victims, 5,878 (86 percent) were male, and 961 (14 percent) were female.

This means that the homicide rate for black male victims was 32.49 per 100,000. In comparison, the overall rate for male homicide victims was 7.93 per 100,000. For white male
homicide victims it was 4.44 per 100,000.

The homicide rate for female black victims was 4.86 per 100,000. In comparison, the overall rate for female homicide victims was 1.99 per 100,000. For white female homicide victims it was 1.57 per 100,000.

A disturbing 9 percent of those black homicide victims from 2008 were below the age of 18. (The average age of the victims was 30 years old).

The vast majority of victims were murdered by handguns. Moreover, three-quarters of the victims were killed someone they knew.

By state, Missouri had the highest black homicide victimization rate -- its rate of 39.90 per 100,000 was more than double the national average for black homicide victims. Missouri was followed by Pennsylvania (31.05 per 100,000); Indiana (28.71); Michigan (24.50) and Tennessee (22.59).