The mental health of black people is something that is not often discussed. It is often seen as stigma amongst the black community, often leading to the mentally unstable being placed on the same pedestal as drug addicts and criminals. Black women are often placed in a complex position of needing to harden themselves for protection from the harsh inequalities of America, but be penalized for being the “Angry Black Women.” In short, a toxic environment of silence is incepted from this spiral of misjudgment, not allowing for a safe space for discussion and progression within this subject matter.
As of recently, because of the media, and the frequent violence within America, Black Americans are forced to digest images and videos of unjust murders, police brutality, and general violence. Does this imagery affect how black Americans see themselves? We know about the frequent violence in inner-city neighborhoods, but how often are we talking about what kind of mental affect it may have on the people that have to live and survive through that and be traumatized by it later via social media and news outlets.
The combination of consistent structural and interpersonal racist acts in America, coupled with the consistent stigma of mental health within the African American Community lead to a dangerously unhealthy cycle that must be addressed in order to make any progress forward.
What happens when we focus on the mental health of prestigious student destined for success and change? What happens when this student is forced to question their own beliefs, their own sanity? What happens when their psychotic break is directly related to race? Or is race directly related to all black Americans racial health?