9-year-old Alabama Black Girl Takes Her Own Life After Allegedly Being Bullied for Months

A 9-year-old girl from Linden, Alabama, who had been the victim of bullying at school took her own life on Monday night.

McKenzie Nicole Adams was found dead in her grandmother's home, Tuscaloosa News reported. The family say that the girl had been targeted by a group of classmates at U.S. Jones Elementary School in Demopolis since the beginning of the academic year.

Read more: "Disturbing" rise in suicide rates across the U.S. since 1999

According to Eddwina Harris, Adams's aunt, much of the bullying was related to her friendship with a boy at school.

"She was being bullied the entire school year, with words such as 'kill yourself,' 'you think you're white because you ride with that white boy,' 'you ugly,' 'black b*tch,' 'just die'," Harris said. "It's an emotional roller-coaster."

Adams's funeral will take place on December 15 at U.S. Jones Elementary, where she arrived after being bullied at her previous school. She was transferred there after her mother and grandmother complained to the State Board of Education.

The family described Adams as a smart, outgoing girl who loved math and science at school and dreamt of becoming a scientist when she was older. In her free time, she enjoyed playing with dolls, riding her bike and making funny videos, as well as visits to the beach and the zoo.

Harris—a television presenter in Atlanta—said she now wants to use her role in the public eye to raise awareness about bullying, in the hope that future tragedies can be prevented.

"God has blessed me to help others with my platform, and now it's time to help," she said. "There are so many voiceless kids. God is opening great doors for justice for my niece."

In the United States, suicide rates have historically been higher among white people than black people across all age groups. However, research published recently in the journal JAMA Pediatrics has found that for black children between 5 and 12, the suicide rate is twice as high as that for white children of the same age.

The findings provide evidence of a significant age-related disparity that contradicts the long-held perception that suicide rates are uniformly higher among whites than blacks in the U.S., according to Jeff Bridge, lead author of the study and director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

To reach their findings, researchers examined data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the suicide deaths of young Americans aged 5 to 17 between 2001 and 2015.

In this period, they found that suicide rates for black youths overall was about 42 percent lower (1.26 per 100,000) than that for white youths (2.16 per 100,000), reflecting the national trend among all age groups. They documented 1,661 suicides among black people and 13,341 among white people.

However, when this larger age group was split into 5- to 12-year-olds and 13- to 17-year-olds, a significant difference became apparent: Black Americans in the younger group were twice as likely to kill themselves.

Studies such as this are important in identifying trends in suicide rates. However, they don't explain what factors may be influencing these trends and why there are differences between racial groups.

Confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.

What you can do if someone you know appears to be contemplating suicide.

The headline on this article has been updated.