Updated: Aug 5, 2020
A big thank you to Jeremiah for being the next entry of Birds of a Feather! Thank you so much for being comfortable sharing your story and contributing to our journey of self-discovery. ~Cheyenne
My name is Jeremiah, I'm from the city of San Francisco and I'm an Administration of Justice major.
My passion is trying to bring back Black-owned businesses and restore Black communities while trying to offer more jobs for Black people. More specifically, young people since everything we see now revolves around getting fast money. In some way, I would like to see the Black Wall Street come back and see Black communities strive by themselves rather than depending on others. I believe once we start acknowledging the fact that we as a community are struggling with getting the necessary resources (whether its financial, educational, or mental support), we can actually start depending on each other to help provide that. We will become more communally independent instead of depending on everyone else to try and help us.
Personally, I have started buying products from Black-owned businesses like Atiralyons and Blavic to get my durags, For the Leaux, Mistrust clothing, and FBMA aka Faithful Blackmen Association are other good businesses I purchase from. I also eat out at Black restaurants. I have a few business ideas in the works for my family to start that line of generational wealth. I feel that Black mental health can connect to Black businesses. I say this because a lot of the time, we aren’t put in any positions to really get into a position of self wealth. This is possibly due to constantly dealing with the mental health battles and the problems that come along with it. As these statistics would love to say, we either end up incarcerated, homeless, broke, or dead. I believe once we start trying to heal ourselves from the trauma and get past the mental health issues, then we may start putting ourselves in places where we can start to financially prosper.
Something I feel is also an issue is the lack of spreading viable knowledge. I grew up with uncles and elders who educated me whether it was book smart or street smarts. Regardless of it, nowadays, you don’t see that anymore it's like everyone for themselves. And as long as we continue to do this, we will not be able to grow as a whole and become something greater. Black mental health is something I feel we take lightly but also struggle with admitting when we need help. The reasoning behind this maybe because we lack the knowledge about mental health along with being able to identify it. Without being able to identify the mental struggles, we start to underestimate the problem. Even after realizing that one is in need of extra support, they are reluctant to talk and receive help because of the stigma that comes along with the condition. Another reason is the socioeconomic part, some families didn’t and don’t have any health insurance to cover the cost. But even if they did, they are likely to be misdiagnosed, experience inadequate treatment, and overall cultural incompetence. These reasons have built a mistrust between doctors and the Black community. In order to actually help with the problem, we must provide adequate resources along with knowledge on ways to identify and cope with the issue. Whether it's providing affordable cost towards getting checked out or helping Black people find the best mental health professionals. In the time we live in now seeing all this social injustice within this past month, for me it's nothing new, but I can bet I’m not the only one that feels this way. It's like our coping mechanism is just to numb the pain we see every day causing internal trauma. We have to stop holding this in and have discussions. This has encouraged me to start having more uncomfortable conversations. Giving me the opportunity to sit down actually discuss important topics with Black people rather than worrying about what others will think. Coming together to have discussions can help to improve mental health while also bringing us closer together as people.