While I write on my Blog about supporting black women, I’m very aware of the struggles for black men in the western world. As the black community still struggles to deal with mental health issues, I applaud football player, Danny Rose for his honesty.
Battling against stereo-types
They battle against the assumptions that they are aggressive, ignorant and disruptive. As a lot of black families are still working hard to overcome financial challenges or escape unemployment, we see some of our young black men joining gangs, not using their God-given skills and potential to build better lives. Yes mental health problems do exist in the black community and affect our black men.
Struggling to talk about their mental health
With the ‘strong & masculine’ stereotype applied to black men, it’s not surprising they often struggle to talk about their mental health issues and to seek help. How does a black man express his anger at being unemployed, although he’s been searching for a job for a long time. Or how does he explain his frustration that whenever he has to say he’s not happy about something at work, that he’s accused of being aggressive. I cannot help but think that the ‘white world’ is still scared of black men and doesn’t always understand there needs and fears.
Supporting black men with their mental health
I can’t say that I’m an expert in this area. But I feel like any of us who have black sons, brothers, boyfriends, husbands – whatever the relationships might be, have to offer to listen to them. Even if we don’t agree with their opinions and words, we have to be there to support the men in our communities. Yes, I have come across those black men who don’t like black women and don’t support or speak up for us; I know it doesn’t always work both ways. Maybe us black women have been too loyal for too long to black men. But we cannot give up on those who need our help and we have to keep on trying
So I applaud Danny Rose and hope this will encourage other black men to take care of their mental health and seek help when they need it. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 for Danny
Read the full BBC Sports article and Danny’s interview.