Peace!…with 2 fingers;)
Peace!…with 2 fingers;)
When 29 year old actor Lee Thompson Young didn’t show up on the set of TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles, the show’s producers were concerned and contacted the police. Soon after, Young was found dead, believed to have shot himself. He didn’t leave a note.
Perhaps the “mystery” was depression Sources close to Young claim that he suffered from it for months leading to his death.
Young isn’t alone. Over the past few years, we have lost a number of Black men to suicide: Soul Train’s Don Cornelious, Capital Steez, Freddy E, Violator Management founder Chris Lighty and Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher.
And yet, this issue isn’t often talked about. But what more do we need as a community to start taking this issue seriously? How long are we going to keep labeling mental health issues as The Other Person problem?”
The unwillingness to discuss & acknowledge mental health has become another unfortunate hurdle especially given that the data is clear that suicide rates are on the rise.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third cause of death among African-American males between ages 15 and 24, behind homicide and accidents. And while suicide rates among Black men are lower than their white counterparts, the rates have increased dramatically.
Meanwhile, Black men are least likely to access mental health services. Why?
Poor access to quality health care/counseling continues to be a major contributor to why seeking early detection is a nonpriority. Another barrier is the cultural stigma that promotes the unnecessary need for therapy / medication for religiosity will make a way.
But one unseen factor that deserves attention is how Black masculinity serves as a huge barrier to seeking care.
Whether the media or just daily conversation, Black men receive messages daily to be hyper masculine, super strong & angry.
“Real men don’t cry.”
“Showing emotion makes you soft.”
“Being vulnerable makes you weak.”
These types of attitudes continue to help foster a culture of silence that allows for Black men to sit and suffer alone.
There’s a greater need to begin serious dialog where people are able to express themselves, be vulnerable & speak about their pain.
So…lets stop equating being “devoid of emotions” with manhood & step up.
What could be done 2 negate the unfair assessment & portrayal of us as black men?….It’s slanderous, slighted & incorrect…..
The real question is WHY?
Hmmm….(I can think of many reasons.)
Move forward, persevere, believe, have, faith,
dream, be inspired & shatter the grossly
false misconceptions that have the tendency 2
follow us wherever we go.
That’s the very reason why it’s been our
mission 2 share a lil’ somethin’ positive
on the regular in our little corner of the web.
I would like 2 believe that somehow, someway
we’ve been able 2 saturate the nonsense & show
that men do love their boys.
No one other than ourselves could ever change the condition.
It’s our responsibility.
Just keep believing & keep your head up cause anything is POSSIBLE.
Peace!….with 2 fingers;)
Whenever there’s something worth posting, spreading the word & keeping your head in the loop seems to be the ticket. This one particular piece is personal due to my obvious love for digital photography. The aim here is simply to inspire, motivate & move….
Inspired by Deborah Willis’s book, Reflections in Black, THROUGH A LENS DARKLY (Willis is also a co-producer) casts a broad net that begins with filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris’s family album. It considers the difference between black photographers who use the camera to define themselves, their people, and their culture and some white photographers who, historically, have demeaned African-Americans through racist imagery. The film embraces both historical material (African-Americans who were slaves, who fought in the Civil War, were victims of lynchings, or were pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement) and contemporary images made by such luminaries as Roy DeCarava, Gordon Parks, and Carrie Mae Weems. The film is a cornucopia of Americana that reveals deeply disturbing truths about the history of race relations while expressing joyous, life-affirming sentiments about the ability of artists and amateurs alike to assert their identity through the photographic lens. “Mr. Harris’s film is a family memoir, a tribute to unsungartists and a lyrical, at times, heartbroken, meditation on imagery and identity. The film is always absorbing to watch, but only once it’s over do you begin to grasp the extent of its ambitions, and just how much it has done within a packed, compact hour and half… Mr. Harris marshals an impressive collection of scholars, artists and photojournalists to help us understand what we see… He is a wise and passionate guide to an inexhaustibly fascinating subject.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times Using this medium as a way to spread inspiring stories brings a great sense of satisfaction. Even if only one person decided to take a peep, that’s another one moved with the human spirit…. That’s right!.. Peace!…with 2 fingers;)