Why are they so quiet?
This is the question that I ask myself, that I ask rhetorically and that I ask my girlfriends when in conversation on the topic. However, when asking a Black Man how do they feel about their mental health – often times,
I never really get an answer.
Now, this is not a true case for all – we are living in a wonderful, transitional time where more Black people, as a whole, are talking about self-love, meditation, growing flowers, yoga, eating healthy, loving life, and their overall mental health.
But, there is definitely still a mental illness stigma permeated within the black community. Even more so, among our men. I would really like to see this change, too.
A few reasons why I, as a Black woman, feel that Black Men don’t share their mental health enough:
- Society doesn’t really allow them to. They are told that they have to either be Black Panther, KillMonger from Black Panther, the next Meek Mill or be like the perfect Barack Obama. No in-betweens. They can’t just BE; only either hyper-masculine, hyper-sexual, or hyper-aggressive, OR on the flip side – a clean slated citizen with the highest eurocentric intelligence and vernacular in order to be acknowledged, respected and revered by both people of color and whites alike. Again, no-inbetweens allowed, ever.
- They don’t feel heard. Because of stereotypes, nobody listens. I don’t even think their mental health is something that people care enough about. That is just my blunt, honest opinion.
- They have a lot going on inside due to systemic racism, their African lineage being robbed, enslaved, murdered, and treated abhorrently for over 300 years. Generational curses.com. They don’t even know where to begin to describe what they feel. And then again, I stress – who will listen?
- They feel pressured to hold the world on their shoulders. We, society, I feel, place a lot of expectations on them. They have to meet our standards as citizens, men, black men, super-attractive black men, super-sexual black men, intelligent black men, super-financially wealthy black men, and then – we don’t even ask them how they are doing in the midst of trying to have all these things at the same time.
DISCLAIMER: OBVIOUSLY, being smart, attractive and financially fit (not even just wealthy) are all GREAT things to strive for, and we as en entire people should strive to be our best. However, I feel that for Black Men, we don’t give them a chance to build. They must have it all at the same time, and if they don’t, we label them as losers. How does this affect their mind, and why don’t we ask them enough? I had to ask myself why I don’t ask enough.
So, I started asking, and the results have made all the difference.
They truly have.
My question to Black Men today:
How do you feel about your mental health?
– Until next time.
R.K.B. is an award winning self-published Author, Poet and Entrepreneur from Detroit, Michigan.
Visit her website to learn more, and stay updated on her upcoming works and events: http://www.intomywoods.com !