Updated: Aug 5, 2020
“We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.” ~ Malcolm X
Thank you all that took the time out of their day to visit and read my blog! The support and feedback were greatly appreciated! I truly cannot wait to see how this journey unfolds.
In the planning process for my guest blog series, Birds of a Feather, I began asking a lot of my friends if they were interested in writing their own entry to demonstrate their own self-discovery journey. In the midst of gathering their interest, my friend Jeremiah said to me, “Okay let’s clarify black mental wellness, explain to me what you believe it is”. Oh woooow, how did I begin this blog and not even acknowledge what this means to me!
“What is my “why? Who am I doing it for?”
My response was quick and took no thought, “Okay cool. My definition of black mental wellness is acknowledging that mental health is important for the quality of life and should be maintained as such. Meaning we acknowledge when we are struggling, get necessary resources and help, educate others to do the same, and advocate for those that cannot within the black community.”
I want to shed light on the areas that have been ignored for far too long and it is haunting the black community as a whole. Within an abnormal psychology course, I learned about the role of risk factors in relation to mental health. By definition, risk factors are characteristics of one’s life that increase the likelihood of a negative outcome (mental illness/disorder). The more risk factors that one may have, increases the likelihood of a negative outcome occurring. Examples of powerful risk factors are abusive/neglectful families, inadequate childcare, very low birth weight, parents with criminal histories and/or mental illness, lack of education, and more. Yet, the most significant risk factor is the one and only… poverty.
If you were to think of areas in which risk factors are the most prevalent, they are more than likely the areas filled with people that look like me. My people, my black people pushed into land designated to bring no hope or help, but continuous hurt.
I say all this to say, the black community as a whole is significantly displaced, undermined, dismissed, and unprotected. Yet, this is the norm in every city, state, country, and continent. ANTI-BLACKNESS IS A GLOBAL NORM AND TREND THAT HAS BRUTALIZED COMMUNITIES UNIVERSALLY SINCE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF 1ST WORLD COUNTRIES. Society has purposely placed the bulk of black people (no matter the location) in positions to not succeed or even have the knowledge to know how to. As a result of being unprotected from the world, we as a community have trained to suck it up in times of grief, anger, and sadness. So much to the point that instead of acknowledging when it is hard to continue, we do not feel comfortable with being vulnerable and asking for the necessary help.
My purpose is to uncover our eyes to the truth that the world has placed us in societal unprotected space. With this space, every tangible way of excelling has been stripped from us, leaving us exposed to the harsh realities of being black. Yet, the one thing that can NEVER be stripped is everything that makes us who we are as people. And that everything is not defined by our risk factors, but it is defined in our mental strength as black people. We have had everything thrown our way and still gracefully excel in spite of society’s attempts.
Now it is time to put a purpose behind the name. Name + Purpose = Focus.