Men of African origin are disproportionately affected by prostate cancer: prostate cancer incidence is highest among men of African origin in the USA, prostate cancer mortality is highest among men of African origin in the Caribbean, and tumour stage and grade at diagnosis are highest among men in sub-Saharan Africa. Socioeconomic, educational, cultural, and genetic factors, as well as variations in care delivery and treatment selection, contribute to this cancer disparity. Emerging data on single-nucleotide-polymorphism patterns, epigenetic changes, and variations in fusion-gene products among men of African origin add to the understanding of genetic differences underlying this disease. On the diagnosis of prostate cancer, when all treatment options are available, men of African origin are more likely to choose radiation therapy or to receive no definitive treatment than white men. Among men of African origin undergoing surgery, increased rates of biochemical recurrence have been identified. Understanding differences in the cancer-survivorship experience and quality-of-life outcomes among men of African origin are critical to appropriately counsel patients and improve cultural sensitivity. Efforts to curtail prostate cancer screening will likely affect men of African origin disproportionately and widen the racial disparity of disease.