The Voice

Message to our Lung Cancer Community

We’re thinking of you at this difficult time

In the past weeks, we have witnessed the continued racism and inequities in this country. The injustice surrounding the senseless killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other murders of innocent Black lives angers many of us. Unfortunately, we know this is nothing new, and we are ready to listen, to learn, and to amplify Black voices that have been silenced by over 400 years of systemic racism in all it’s forms. We must stop institutional racism, in any of its forms, from continuing to needlessly take Black lives.

Upstage Lung Cancer is a non-profit organization that uniquely uses music and performing arts to raise awareness of lung cancer, the number one cancer killer. Upstage Lung Cancer is indebted to the central role Black musicians, composers, lyricists and performers have played and continue to play in the American musical landscape and its development. Sadly, a number of these Black musicians, such as Nat King Cole, Donna Summer, Edward Kennedy (Duke) Ellington, Sarah Vaughan and John Pyrne, lost their lives to lung cancer. African-Americans are disproportionately affected by lung cancer. The percentage of African-American men diagnosed with lung cancer each year is at least 30% higher than among White men, even though they have similar rates of smoking as White men. In fact, African-American men tend to smoke fewer cigarettes per day than White male smokers. (see Lung Cancer and African Americans)