“Words are so powerful that they can lead to depression and impact anxiety”
I don’t remember the first time I was called the N-word, but I vividly remember how it made me feel. I remember how the words cut and left bruises, always managing to rear its terrible head in the midst of confrontations leaving my already fragile heart broken. I always wondered and sometimes still wonder if that is all people see when they look at me.
In 1999 I was diagnosed with depression and in the black community, especially in the Caribbean community a mental health diagnosis is one that is not embraced.
I wasn’t accepted by the people who looked like me because of my diagnosis, and to the people who didn’t look like me, I was just another N-word which left me bound in mental isolation unsure where I truly belonged. If I am being honest, to this day I often sense racial tension when I am around non black people and those who say “they don’t see colour” are the first to clutch their bags tightly as I walk past them
“…they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”
– Martin Luther King Jr, “I have a dream Speech”, 1963
The colour of my skin is evidence that I have deep roots in the motherland and my dark skin should not been seen as a threat or a curse, this is how God chose to create me.
The content of my character signifies that as black man, I am resilient, I am humble, I am worthy, I am strong and so much more, and THAT is what should matter, because when we close our eyes, we all look the same in the dark.
Let’s wake up!