Categories
Mental Health

The Black Man’s Wellbeing

What is it to be a black man? There is no monolithic black male experience, and those who are able to answer this question have derived their answers from personal experience along their journey in life. Then there are young men like myself, trying daily to unravel, uncover, and discover self and what it means […]

Categories
Mental Health

Endnotes to Jay-Z’s 4:44 : Mental Health Awareness

“It’s like my therapy, making music……When language has reached its limit, disease sets in.” – Jay-Z On June 30, 2017, Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) released his 13th studio album 4:44, arguably the most personal and socially conscious album of his career. Subscribers to his online streaming service, Tidal, are privy to music videos for the songs […]

Categories
emotional health Mental Health

Emotional Intelligence of the Black Male

As we enter the year of 2017, many Black people are wondering what will happen once President Obama leaves office. Many have displayed ideas of fear, confusion, frustration, and hopelessness. For Black people, this is understandable; We have been dealing with a significant amount of stress and confusion for many years. Recently however, more overt […]

Categories
Mental Health

Therapy is Working for Me

Looking back, the circumstances surrounding my mother’s death happened in two phases: the six months of hospitalization before her passing and the subsequent four months without her. PHASE ONE The first phase was a dizzying whirlwind of misfortune. I watched her suffer in ways that still seem surreal. She entered the hospital on Mother’s Day […]

Categories
Mental Health

How An Ultralight Beam Helped My Dark Depression

I first heard “Ultralight Beam” when Kanye West and company performed it on Saturday Night Live. The-Dream opens with “I’m tryna keep my faith and Kanye continues with Deliver us serenity. Deliver us peace. Deliver us love. Lord knows we need it.” Think about how tragic it is that Kanye West, one of the biggest […]

Categories
Awareness Empowerment Masculinity Mental Health Self-Care

Therapy Changed Everything

Deciding to go into therapy is a choice that often comes as a last resort. For black men, we avoid it until it becomes a self-imposed ultimatum. In my case, it was a desire. I wanted to talk to someone who held no judgement of my past. I wanted to confide in someone who held […]

Categories
Awareness Empowerment Identity Mental Health

Why I Stopped Identifying with the Struggle

On “Real,” from his debut album Food and Liquor, Lupe Fiasco rapped, “struggle…is just another sign that God loves you/cuz on the low, being po’ also teach you how to hustle.” Those lyrics became a mantra, a personal ideal to live by as the struggle had been something I’ve had to deal with my entire […]

Categories
Blackness Identity Mental Health Social Justice Solidarity Whiteness

Rachel Dolezal and Defining Blackness

Outside of adoptions, “transracial” isn’t a thing, and race is not a social construct. Let me explain… By now, we’ve all heard of Rachel Dolezal. Yes, she is president of her local NAACP branch. Yes, she was recently outed by her white parents. Yes, she has been deceptive about her racial heritage. But transraciality doesn’t […]

Categories
Humor Identity Mental Health

Hey, Therapy

Hey, Therapy, On our first date, I was a few weeks on the surviving end of a deleted suicide note. I was tentative, terrified, and zombie-like. To say that I wasn’t in a good place that chilly September morning when I first entered your warm embrace would be the understatement of the century. I was […]

Categories
Awareness Baltimore Mental Health Police Brutality

The Pain of Awareness

Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent a great deal of time and words capturing what has been going on around Baltimore. Whether it’s a discussion on the politics surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, the race of the officers, the comments made by the mayor or the shot of hope provided by the state […]