... the other Black experience

Robust's Blog (132)

Should clergy be educated on mental illness before preaching about it?

Let me start out by saying that I'm not trying to take a shot at pastors, nor do I think every single pastor feels this way. However, we must address the elephant in the room. This is a serious question on a topic that is so taboo in the church. I sometimes find myself watching online sermons about mental illness, just to see what some pastors and ministers have to say about it. And often times I'm very disappointed by the choice of words that are spoken toward someone who…


Added by Robust on July 7, 2017 at 4:32pm — No Comments

With the Senate Healthcare bill in limbo, call your Senator and tell them you #StandWithPlannedParenthood

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the tortoise-like one, announced the delay of a vote on his super-secret tax break for the rich bill, aka the Better Care Reconciliation Act. But before we let out a sigh of relief knowing that the bill won’t come to a vote until after the July 4th recess, there’s still so much at stake. Especially for women. While no government funding goes towards a single abortion procedure performed at any Planned Parenthood, the GOP’s…


Added by Robust on June 28, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Black woman entrepreneur opens low-cost organic grocery online store

In this weeks news of Black women who said “fuck it—i’ll do it”, LA native, Howard University grad, and entrepreneurial activist Olympia Auset has created community-centered access to quality, whole foods through her business, SÜPRMARKT. Offering low-cost organic food options for low-income communities in LA, SÜPRMARKT is a weekly farmer’s market-type of pop up that…


Added by Robust on May 23, 2017 at 1:53pm — 2 Comments

Boundaries matter: shitty parents and family members are not worth your sanity

Having good parents and family is a privilege. A privilege in the sense that, yes, everyone deserves good parents, but in reality, many people aren’t positively and fundamentally changed by having children. Shitty or abusive people often just become shitty people with kids.

You don’t owe your parents anything. Yes, they “brought you into this word”, but that’s a favor nobody asked for. Like Jesus on the cross—literally, nobody made such a request on our…


Added by Robust on May 17, 2017 at 4:14pm — No Comments

Body Positivity Was Lit AF at AFROPUNK 2016

Fashion is more than just what you decide to wear — it’s how you feel in the clothes — and skin — you’re in. Body positivity is about no longer viewing our bodies as “works in progress,” but as extensions of ourselves and the way we show up in the world. Wear Your Voice got a chance to speak with Kam Franklin from The Suffers at this year’s Afropunk Festival and ask her about what body positivity means to her. Here’s what she had to say:…


Added by Robust on May 3, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

You can pray AND see a therapist at the same time

As we know mental illness is still a very taboo subject in the black community. Not only are many African Americans not willing to speak on it, but a lot find it to be a personal weakness. "Black people don't go to therapy we pray about it" or "depression is a weakness, stop complaining about your life" is thrown out there a lot.

I have come up with a plan to help educate the black community more on mental illness. Starting April 24th I am offering two classes:…


Added by Robust on April 18, 2017 at 11:36am — No Comments

“Just pray about it” - Ignoring mental health is killing black youth

Stumbling into adulthood often causes black youth to become more hyperaware of the fact that that even as children, we were constantly fed the narrative that we are less human than any other demographic. From day one we were taught that we could speak, but not too loudly because we already take up too much space. We could feel, but not too deeply as to not be a threat- We are even taught to grieve quietly because any sign of emotional weakness is effectively labeled as ‘for…


Added by Robust on April 13, 2017 at 5:21pm — No Comments

French vegan group picks slave trade commemoration date to protest the "enslavement of animals"

French vegan and animal rights group, 269Life Libération Animale, plans to hold a demonstration about animal rights, on May 10—the day France commemorates the abolition of slavery and the slave trade. The group posted the …


Added by Robust on April 12, 2017 at 10:47am — No Comments

Mental health: setting boundaries in a relationship is a matter of survival

Identifying and setting personal boundaries, in any type of relationship, is a healthy and necessary measure of self-care. Boundaries that set your limitations or mark your standards for treatment and communication with others. In my experience, many of us don’t know how to set boundaries until these boundaries have been crossed. Survivors of abuse, like myself, can thrive in healthy future relationships by being in touch with the behaviors and red flags that are…


Added by Robust on March 30, 2017 at 1:40pm — No Comments

This Black woman's groundbreaking research could change the way we treat cancer

Physicist Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green is breaking new ground in cancer research and treatment. Green was awarded a $1.1 million grant to work on new technology that that targets, images and treats cancer more directly. The technology works by using the FDA-approved drug that contains nanoparticles that are injected into a cancer patient, causing the tumor to fluoresce. This allows lasers to activate the nanoparticles and treat the cancerous turmor without causing harm to…


Added by Robust on March 13, 2017 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

How depression led me to starting my own business to help others still battling

If you would've asked me three years ago would I ever start my own business, I would have laughed in utter disbelief. Three years ago I barely felt like living. I was so depressed and suicidal. I was embarrassed about my illness, and I didn't wish to seek help, but after a while you get tired of being down and out. I grew very tired of depression beating me down, so I decided to get help for myself. I've been in recovery since 2015.

In that time I became a mental…

Added by Robust on March 7, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Suicide and the justice system: A letter to the memory of Kalief Browder

Dear Kalief,

You were a beautiful young black man gone too soon, I still cry for you. I ball my fist up in anger when I think of what they did to you. You were just a kid when your nightmare started. A sixteen-year-old black male, falsely accused of a crime you never committed. You were lied on, push to the side, beaten by inmates and cops, and mentally broken down to the core.

They beat the life out of you. They mentally drained you, until you felt no…


Added by Robust on March 2, 2017 at 1:43pm — No Comments

Check out queer painter Pauline N'Gouala's series on LGBTQI icons

Pauline N'Gouala is a Paris-based queer artist and oil painter who encapsulates the rich culture and heritage of the LGBTQI community. Like many of us black kids, who as also queer, we grew up seeing even fewer representations of ourselves than straight and cis POC. This portrait series, ‘A Queer Vision’ aims to highlight queer excellence to show young folks the beautiful community they’re apart of. “I hope my portraits will talk to the youth and to any persons who…


Added by Robust on March 1, 2017 at 3:30pm — No Comments

"A letter to the EX who told me "You Have Nothing To Live For, Kill Yourself" (tw: verbal/emotional abuse)

For the sake of confidentially I guess I'll call you "George"

Dear "George",

I took the fire you burned me with and arisen from the ashes like a Phoenix.

On and off for two years, you verbally abused me. It was never excessive, so that's probably why I was naive, and I just let it go on (that and I lacked self-love). I use to make excuses for how you treated me. When someone throws a fist at you, it hurts. I've never been physically beaten…


Added by Robust on February 15, 2017 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Grieving and healing are a long process: I'm ready to embrace all that makes me (tw: abuse, suicide)

As I sit staring blankly at the screen, I find myself reflecting over the last few months that have evolved into the turbulent last few years and even further back, into an introspective study of every, last crystallized shard of childhood innocence shattered—scattered—and embedded within adolescent wounds left to fester long into adulthood scars that cannot be healed by simply kissing them better.

I lament over growing up in a Black Community that has…


Added by Robust on February 2, 2017 at 2:12pm — No Comments

Eating Disorders Are Not #WhiteGirlProblems

I was sitting on the couch in a small office across from two women, two therapists, on the second floor of LSU’s Health Services building. It was the first time anyone had associated that word, that disorder, with me. It was also the first time I’d heard anyone acknowledge that eating disorders are not an exclusively white issue.

My disordered eating started in middle school. It wasn’t blossoming figure or the sudden desire for male attention that triggered it,…


Added by Robust on January 23, 2017 at 4:30pm — No Comments

OP-ED: Fight back! Let’s make the next 4 years about radical self-love

Hey folks, you might be feeling a little defeated and overwhelmed right now by the first few days of the Trump administration, which has already seen terrifying proposed budget cuts and cabinet appointee hearings. And it’s okay to be sad and to not want to do shit. It’s okay to check out of politics and to stop checking the news (for a little bit, anyway) to focus on yourself and your mental health. In fact, I’d argue that it’s imperative.

Resisting the Trump…


Added by Robust on January 20, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

J Cole's Music Helps Me in My Recovery From Depression

Last week, when I found out J Cole was dropping a new album, a certain thought went through my mind. " How different will I feel listening to this album?", If you didn't know, earlier this year I wrote an article addressed as a letter to J Cole ( The previous article expressed how 2014 forest hills drive, helped me through some…


Added by Robust on December 14, 2016 at 11:38am — No Comments

Black women entrepreneurs create sustainable, all natural skincare line Limegreen

Entrepreneurs Talima Davis and Allison Lamb are on a mission to provide healthy, sustainable, and all natural skincare products with their new line Limegreen. Inspired by their grandmothers, they thought that the best way to serve is by making skincare products meant to be used in a variety of areas, rather than specializing on a specific area of the body. They…


Added by Robust on December 2, 2016 at 10:30am — No Comments

Why I decided to dedicate my life to those going through depression and suicidal thoughts

While many people need help, mental health resources can be scarce at times. 350 million people around the world battle some form of depression. Suicide is also the 10th leading cause of death in the United states. The statistics on depression are currently rising.

My name is Jasmin Pierre. I have been an "Afro Punk" contributor for the majority of 2016. I am a self help book author, who writes about mental health, the majority of the time about depression, and…


Added by Robust on December 1, 2016 at 5:37pm — No Comments

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