In a world often plagued with tense race relations, lawmakers and experts say there's at least one area where race actually matters. That's when it comes to donating blood and they're calling on African-American donors to step up. Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers President Ann McKanna says African-Americans often need blood from other Black donors because they have different proteins and antigens on the surface of their blood cells.

McKanna says finding donors is difficult because only one-percent of the nations donors are African-American. State Representative LaShawn Ford says giving blood is one of the most cost-effective ways to save a life, and he's urging African-Americans to donate at least a couple times a year.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/