Black Men and Depression
Saving our Lives, Healing our Families and Friends
By John Head
(Harmony, Paperback, 9780767913546, 224pp.)
Publication Date: August 9, 2005
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In mainstream society depression and mental illness are still somewhat taboo subjects; in the black community they are topics that are almost completely shrouded in secrecy. As a result, millions of black men are suffering in silence or getting treatment only in extreme circumstances–in emergency rooms, homeless shelters, and prisons. The neglect of emotional disorders among men in the black community is nothing less than racial suicide. In this groundbreaking book, veteran journalist and award-winning author John Head argues that the problem can be traced back to the time of slavery, when it was believed that blacks were unable to feel inner pain because they had no psyche. This myth has damaged generations of African American men and their families, creating a society that blames black men for being violent and aggressive without considering that depression might be a root cause. Black Men and Depression challenges the African American community and the psychiatric community to end the suffering of black men, and address what can be done by loved ones to help those who need it most.
JOHN HEAD is a former mental health reporter and features writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and a former reporter for USA TODAY and the Detroit Free Press. His first book, We Are the Land’s: The Biography of a Homeplace, was named best memoir by the Georgia Writers Association in 1999.