The Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) is one of the most common self-report instruments used for depression screening. However, there is a lack of research examining the effectiveness of this instrument in detecting depression in an African American primary care sample. The current study included 220 African American primary care patients who completed the BDI-II and were administered a diagnostic interview to establish depressive diagnoses. Results indicated that depressed patients demonstrated significantly greater BDI-II total scores compared to non-depressed patients. The recommended cutoff score of 14 for screening for depression appears to be appropriate for African American patients in the primary care setting. This cutoff yielded sensitivity of 87.7% and specificity of 83.9%. Positive predictive value of the BDI-II was. 70, and negative predictive value was. 94. Similar to findings with predominantly Caucasian samples, current results suggest the BDI-II is an appropriate and accurate instrument to use for depression screening among African American primary care patients. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.