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
Personal Essay

Loved, yet Misunderstood

T he discovery of individuality and humanity is a journey seldom untangled. There are no proven strategies to ease navigating the voyage, nor perfect techniques to enduring or escaping unscathed. One must endure the plateaus of necessary isolation, rivers of uncertainty, and islands of desperation. Individuals, young and old alike, desire one thing above all […]

Categories
Newsletter

From Dying to Thriving: One Black Man’s Journey to Wellness

“A place to spend my quiet nights, time to unwind So much pressure in this life of mine, I cry at times I once contemplated suicide, and woulda tried But when I held that 9, all I could see was my momma’s eyes No one knows my struggle, they only see the trouble Not knowin […]

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
Newsletter

madness and mindfulness

One of my favorite pastimes is walking Marcus Garvey Park, a twenty acre square in Harlem that forces Fifth Avenue traffic to slow down and behold its gated splendor. By day, the park plays host to pickup basketball games, boisterous children, and an endless parade of pooping dogs. By night, it’s largely deserted. Last week, […]

Categories
Music For the Rest of Us

Vol 3: Think Happy Thoughts While Catching Hell

Peace. Black folks have been catching hell since we’ve been in this country, and we keep catching hell today. There’s a perpetual pressure and need for black folks to find a way to balance our mental anguish and rage—born of micro-aggressions, aggressions, and disrespect—with positivity in order to function. Thank God (love) black folks have […]

Categories
Masculinity

The Trouble With Being a Strong Black Man

A few days ago a friend and I were having a conversation when she mentioned an acquaintance of hers who died of a gunshot wound. When I asked her what happened, I expected to hear another story about a brother getting caught up in the streets and losing his life. When she told me his […]

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 […]