When you see a black man, what do you see? Most people only see color and stereotypes, such as a basketball player, a rapper, and comedian, among many others.
But beyond color exists the identity of a man who may be a father, a husband, a son, a brother, and a friend—a man who may suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders.
The mind of a black man is troubled from trauma and not being provided with healthy coping mechanisms to deal with emotions that have gone on for decades.
Mental Health issues must be addressed
When we think about mental health, we think about the homeless individuals that are seen on the side of the street talking to themselves. Or we think about young mass murderers that are involved in school shootings, who take the lives of innocent children and educators
We also may think about the white man (actor) who committed suicide due to depression or mental health illness. But rarely do we think about the black men that are raised in communities and who endure many traumatic experiences and, as a result, they develop mental health disorders; that go unseen and unresolved
Black men are taught to suppress their emotions, and although they may not talk about what they are going through, their internal struggles manifest themselves through anger and rage.
For the black man to discuss emotions is to demonstrate vulnerability in a culture where vulnerability is perceived as a disadvantage and weakness. Instead, the black man is expected to be resilient because hundreds of years (as a people) the black race has survived.
Make Yourself Accountable
Black strength has carried us for decades, but it is a strength that is crying out for restitution and justice. No more should be the days of enduring pain in silence. For the black man in America, the time has come to reclaim his humanity.
What lies inside the mind of a black man? Trauma, pain, and mental disorders and the numbing of emotions that must be seen and uncovered. It is time to shatter the silence that harbors self-destruction. It is time to break down the walls of the mental health stigma. A black man’s mental health matters and it is time to recognize the impact of societal structures that are stacked up against every black man in America.