As National Mental Health Month comes to a close we have a responsibility to ask; are you okay, sis? This may seem like a simple question, but you never know the magnitude it holds until someone asks you and you've been holding the weight of the world inside for too long. A few years ago I had my first bought of depression. I mean, I was a happy person who had a thriving social life that was always out of town, making new friends and loved the lifestyle my job provided. Then it happened...I became irritable and withdrawn, hated my job and the people whom I worked with, besides for work rarely left my house, stopped going out to have fun, didn't shop (this was my favorite past time), nothing. It all stopped. After joking with Phoenix how I was so tired and needed time off to regroup, she recommended that I seek therapy. Like most black families, mine didn't discuss mental health outside of dementia, schizophrenia, or PTSD when someone you all knew was diagnosed and you received the gossip. Mental health along with other subjects are just taboo in the black community.
I must admit, I took Phoenix's suggestion with a grain of salt and figured it would be a joke. Boy, was I wrong! Therapy helped me to realize not only did I have major daddy issues, I had mommy issues as well. She helped me to understand that I hated my job because I wanted an out to pursue my entrepreneurial endeavors but was too afraid to do so because I didn't want to lose my cushy lifestyle. It helped me realize that I needed to ignore society's standards for what my 27 year old self needed to have accomplished. Therapy helped me to realize that I'd listened to so many of my friends and families issues and didn't have anyone I felt I could really talk with about how I was feeling. Not because they weren't there, but because I put their needs before my own. I'm the strong friend you read about. The one who will lace up her too-tight Timbs (you've heard the story on episode 3 lol) to go gather some edges, the one who will help you fill out those business and grant applications, the same one who will be right there to pump you up because you deserve more. I strive to be the friend that checks on her friends, but fall short in doing so consistently. So I needed help and therapy was that outlet I so desperately needed. Acknowledging that I was depressed was one of the hardest things for me to do because I'd heard the horror stories and saw the judgmental looks and such. Outside of therapy, I could really only talk to two people who knew exactly what I was going through and we supported each other like no other.
Today, I grieved. I grieved for a man whom I didn't know. I grieved for a recording artist. I grieved for a philanthropist and community activist. I grieved for a community hero. I grieved for a Crip. I grieved for a man who loved his community and invested heavily to ensure those who would normally not be employable because of their criminal records, were. I grieved for a legal marijuana dispensary owner. I grieved for a cryptocurrency investor. I grieved for a man who took Crenshaw and put them on his back. I grieved for a brother who ensured that both his brother and sister were able to start their own businesses to begin creating generational wealth. I grieved for a friend. I grieved for a son whose mother with the calmest voice was able to soothe the souls of thousands. I grieved for a wife who experienced love at it's deepest depths that one could only wish they'd experience or you'd read about in some black novel. I grieved for three children who will no longer have their father there to tell them just how great and loved they are as he burns sage around them before taking them to school. I grieved for the culture, who has not felt this great a loss since Michael Jackson or even Tupac. Today, I grieved.
I first heard about Nipsey Hussle two years ago when we started on our cryptocurrency investment journey. I'm not sure what put him on my radar, but I remember looking him up and seeing how he started the clothing store and purchased the shopping center that the owners threatened to close because of the unsavory traffic it attracted from known gang affiliates, etc. I was especially intrigued by the opening of Vector 90 as a co-working space as this is something I've dreamed of opening in my area. Now, before his passing, I'd never heard any of his music (I'm feeling Racks in the Middle hard now) as I'm not big on West Coast rap/hiphop besides Kendrick Lamar and Tupac (don't bring up how I dislike all those features in his songs with Dogg Pound and 'nem-this isn't about him). Then a few months ago while on Instagram, I saw the GQ magazine images of him and wife and actress, Lauren London. I remember thinking, damn they're cute together.
Let me just start by saying initially I wanted to hit you with one line for my review, but I later thought better of it because we're working to do better, right? Before we get into the review, I feel it is my responsibility to the culture to educate some and reintroduce to others the fictional Marvel character that is: Black Panther. Introduced in July of 1966, Black Panther was written by Stan Lee (we love him in every movie cameo) and Jack Kirby and first featured in Fantastic Four's #52: The Arrival. As the first super hero of African descent, protector and current King of Wakanda (Wa-Kan-DA!) with his access to technological advancements, wealth, education, and physical training, oh and the wealthiest of Marvel's superheros; T'Challa is a force to be reckoned with! In the comic series, he is married to Storm and in an alternate universe they share a son. The Black Panther character was created before the Black Panther Party and was briefly renamed to the Black Leopard after backlash about the BPP. Let me not forget to mention that he's appeared in several animations to include his own series on BET, which started Alfre Woodard and Jill Scott. We'll discuss the other Black Panthers to include his father before him and his sister alongside him in a later post. Anyway, on to the movie. **Spoiler Alerts Will Follow**
Read the extension of our podcast as hosts, Charli, Kay and Phoenix write about issues concerning woc simply because when you know better, you'd do better. Do better, sis.