[Black] Girl, Interrupted

“It’s like you’re screaming and no one can hear you.”-Angelina Jolie as Lisa Rowe “Girl, Interrupted”

One of my favorite movies is the 1999 film “Girl, Interrupted” by James Mangold starring Wynona Ryder and Angelina Jolie[who won an Oscar for her performance as Lisa Rowe]. MV5BMTUyNjUzMjk2MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDQyMTAxMw@@._V1_SX640_SY720_This film takes you inside the 18-month stay of Susanna Kaysen in an 1960’s psychiatric hospital following a suicide attempt. Showing a raw and uncut look at the struggles of women from various walks of life with mental illness. Funny thing about this film is that it there are no African-American patients on the ward, one of the only black faces in the movie is that of Whoopi Goldberg who plays nurse Valerie Owens. It wasn’t until recently that I noticed the lack of black faces “on the ward” on this film, but then it occurred to me that this was not because the hospital [in the film] was segregated but because even then mental illness in the African-American community is and still is considered taboo. Why? In 2016, when there are so many treatment options is the stigma of mental illness in African-American women still a “thing?” Continue reading

#BuildingUpBlack

Happy Monday! It has been quite some time since we last came together so we have a bit of catching up to do. Since my last post about Daniel “Boone” fuller, also known as “The Man on the Billboard” I took some time to look at and evaluate the current state in which the community I live is in. Saint Louis, Missouri has been the subject of national news for over a year following the murder of Mike Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. This unjust act sparked national outrage and shined a light on the  killings of unarmed black men and women by law enforcement. In cities all across the country [and the world] “Black Lives Matter” has been at the forefront of protests, giving voices to those who can no longer speak for themselves and bringing police brutality to the forefront. I salute the men and women who stand for such a worthy cause.

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Lawless Misconduct

At approximately noon today a seventeen year-old [unarmed] African-American male was shot [a reported] nine to tens times in the chest near Canfield apartments in Ferguson, Missouri. [ a city within the limits of Saint Louis County]. Read more on the full developing story here. I initially became aware of this unfortunate situation while scrolling my Instagram news feed, initially it was photos of the young man’s step father holding a cardboard sign that read “FERGUSON POLICE JUST EXECUTED MY UNARMED SON”.

James Head, the young man's stepfather...

Louis Head, father of the slain teenager…

The powerful image began to spread like wild-fire as did the disturbing images of the child’s lifeless body still laying in state in the middle of the street. It was this image that sent my emotions and rage into overload. How dare people be so insensitive and disrespectful to post photos of this?

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A Hollywood Legend

“The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within — strength, courage, dignity.” ~Ruby Dee

Born October 27, 1922, she was a legendary actress, civil rights activist, playwright, journalist and beloved wife/window of famed actor Ossie Davis. Starring in films such as “A Raisin in the Sun”, “Do the Right Thing” and “American Gangster” she was a true legend. Her unconventional theories on how to make a marriage work [Including opening up about her open marriage] are what made Dee legendary. A true beauty. We may have lost a legend but Ossie has gained his love back.

Rest in Peace Lady Ruby

October 27, 1922- June 11, 2014

The Phenomenal Woman

News has just broke of the passing of the great author and poet Maya Angelou this morning at her Winston-Salem home. A St. Louis native, Angelou was a true treasure and pioneer who was instrumental in the civil rights of African-Americans. So many great words come to mind when I think of Maya Angelou, but it is the words in this poem that resignate loudly.

Phenomenal Woman Continue reading