Sometimes you need to make a change.
Taraji P Henson is well known for her portrayal of Cookie Lyon on the hit Fox series Empire. I grew up watching Taraji on TV, so it’s safe to safe I’m a big fan of hers. I’ve always admired how she always portrays strong women who overcome great obstacles. It’s so inspiring to see women portrayed as girl bosses and intelligent beings
Even her real-life story of graduating from college as a single mother and moving to LA with her son to be an actress is unbelievable. The amount of bravery and self-confidence it took for her to make such a change, goes to show that just like her any woman can accomplish anything they set their minds to.
Out of all the titles Taraji has earned the most influential is an activist. She saw a need within the black community and instead of standing by she found a way to meet that need. She founded a nonprofit organization called the Boris Laurence Henson Foundation, named after her father who suffered from PTSD. The foundation is an outlet for black people to be able to talk about their mental health issues.
Being a black woman myself, I can truthfully say that mental health is something that is dismissed in black culture. No one takes these issues seriously. Telling your parents or older relatives that you are stressed or enduring emotional hardships, is almost seemed as if you’re being dramatic instead of a cry for help. Often they’ll advise you to pray.
Prayer is great but sometimes you need therapy too.
The thought of therapy within itself can be really scary because no one wants to tell a stranger their business, especially one who does not look like them or have to face their struggles. Overall, black people don’t have positive outlets to express their emotions, so we are forced to bottle them up. Bottling up our emotions leads to our past traumas being unaddressed, so they continue to hinder our lives. In an attempt to destigmatize mental health in the black community, Taraji’s foundation is bringing the issue to light and providing resources to help those in need.
Mental health is important for all people of every race.
We all deserve to live a life free of depression, anxiety, and unforgiveness. I hope these quotes will inspire a change in you.