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Black Mental Health is a Community Problem

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

For a long time, mental health issues in the Black community were ignored, especially the root cause of it.

Considering the history of chattel slavery, Jim Crow, and the New Jim Crow, society has ignored, refused to acknowledge, or never tried to fix an ongoing problem of systemic oppression against Blacks.

Systemic and institutional racism, social, political, and economical

Mr. Nelly Fuller, Jr

disadvantages are common experiences for Black people everywhere. Mr. Nelly Fuller Jr. describes racism as a system of institutions, codes, laws, and policies that are designed to impede or eliminate the progress among Non-Whites, or more specifically Black and Brown people.

Mr. Fuller, the author of the book, The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept,

has been quoted, saying that Non-White People controls nothing and the ruling class

(Whites) make sure of that.

Dealing with discrimination in unfair housing, employment, education, business,

farming, financial institutions, and the government is an example of Mr. Fuller’s observation, research and experience.

In addition to this, the intentional targeting, exclusion, and suppression of Blacks,

in general, have created a dire situation for an unfortunate outcome.

Also, videos of police brutality, killings, and harassment of Blacks have created a

real tense situation in Black Communities.

All of this trauma without any help has created a mentally challenging environment of self-doubt, low self-esteem, and self-hate. As a whole, society refuses to acknowledge or take into account the present situation that Blacks are in socially, politically, and economically, which was all engineered.

They rather deflect and take examples of some successful black people to counter the reality of the situation.

Black people have to always be conscious of everything they say and do. They are always under some form of scrutiny, even by their own people.

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS)

Dr. Joy Degruy Leary

Dr. Joy Degruy Leary, in her book, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, explains the traumatic experience of chattel slavery and post slavery-the years in America under Jim Crow and New Jim Crow was trauma after trauma after trauma without any therapy, help, or assistance. Blacks were forced to deal with all of this trauma without any real resolve or healing.

Based upon her analysis and research, she concluded that, due to all of this trauma without any help, it created an environment that is conducive to crime, drugs, violence, and self-hate.

Sadly, when Blacks grew and built successful neighborhoods across the U.S., they were later terrorized and destroyed by White mobs without legal recourse or criminal prosecution for their crimes, leaving so many Blacks destitute and homeless.

The big Black migration from the south to the north, after WW-1 was supposed to be met

Black Migration

by great opportunities in better jobs, education, and a way of life.

However, it was the opposite. Malcolm X once quoted saying that the north was no more racist than the south. The difference was that the north was just covert and the south overt.

What Blacks thought was a great promise became a horrible nightmare. Employment, housing, education, and assistance issues were insurmountable challenges. Urban neighborhoods turned into crime zones and violence.

White Flight

After WW-2, there was a White flight, many Whites took their businesses and capital to the suburbs, as a result, this is what you see today-suburbs growing and urban areas declining.

Then, the police were sent to these predominantly Black neighborhoods under false pretense to reduce crime and violence. But in actuality, they brought more terror and violence to an already hostile and neglected environment.

Even though Dr. DeGruy Leary further explained the effects of trauma and how some people deal with trauma differently, she concluded that this trauma is present and exists in many Blacks today.

Considering the history of discrimination and racism against Black and Brown people and the trauma that was endured, addressing Black Mental Health in Black communities is a necessity.

Internalized Oppression

Internalized oppression is when people are oppressed in an ongoing manner for a long time, they come to believe the stereotypes and myths about their own group that is communicated by the dominant group.
They accept and inculcate the negative image of themselves and absorb their subordinate status as being deserved, normal and inevitable. When the oppressed begin to believe that the inferiority imposed on them is a natural way of life, they have internalized that oppression.
Black people deal with internalized oppression often, but sadly, they are totally unaware. From conversations, interactions, decision-making, or actions of many Blacks, you have to be concerned with the present condition and outcome.

Truthfully, when you have been mistreated and abused most harshly, and you have failed to confront the person who wronged you or failed to get help, it will eventually build up inside you and you will take it out on yourself or the people around.
Look at the drugs, crime, and violence issues in our communities. Look at how we treat each other as opposed to other groups. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.
Dr. Na'im Akbar wrote in his book, Chains and Images of Psychological Slavery: “The

implication of this is that the mind’s possibilities are limited by its concept of its potential.”

Though the physical chains have been removed, Black people have found it harder to remove the mental chains. The potential of so many young Black minds has been put in a box of limitations, only to be victims of self-hate, crime, drugs, murder, or jail.
Society has failed Black people. Black people have failed the Black community.
However, we can't become discourage and we can't give up. It is those who care and who are willing to puts boots on the ground that will make a difference.

We have to be positive, present positive images, create workshops, get the community involvement, group and individual therapy, youth employment initiatives, invest in the community, and right the wrong about our history versus his-story.

I was once told that it took 156 years to create Negro, and it will take 156 years to deprogram the Negro mindset. However, I do believe we can heal and help each other and overcome this horrific trauma more sooner than later. All it takes is love, sacrifice, patience, hard work, and dedication.

We can do this! We can overcome anything!

By MajorTv

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