Skip to main content


Opinion: Why we should all care about Black men’s mental health (


Keith Magee - Arron Dunworth© Provided by CNN

To read more of Keith Magee's article, please click here.

Editor’s Note: Keith Magee is a theologian, political adviser and social justice scholar. He ischair and professor of practice in social justice at Newcastle University (United Kingdom). He isvisiting professor in cultural justice at University College London Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, senior fellow within Cultural Engagement, where he leads Black Britain and Beyond, a social platform and think tank, and is also afellow at its Centre on US Politics. He is the author of “Prophetic Justice: Essays and Reflections on Race, Religion and Politics.” The views expressed in this commentary are his own. Read moreopinion on CNN.

Like many Black men, I grew up with a stern father who saw displays of emotion as a sign of weakness. For a long time after becoming a father myself, if overwhelmed by unhappiness or frustration, I would hide my own tears from my little boy.

Eventually, I realized I had to break the cycle of repression. Becoming a parent and thinking through how I was parented led me to handle my emotions differently, so that my son wouldn’t feel ashamed to show his.

Now my young son knows that men are allowed to cry and that difficult feelings can be expressed and overcome. I hope this will help protect his mental health when he’s older, but as a Black American male, unless things change dramatically, I fear he will encounter a unique set of challenges.

The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day observed on October 10 is “Mental health is a universal human right.” I want myself and my fellow Black American men to claim this right, for the sake of ourselves, our families, our communities and our society.

In the United States, 1 in 5 adults experience mental health difficulties each year, and 9 out of 10 adults believe our nation is now in the throes of a mental health crisis, according to a survey taken last year. Millions of American men suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders, and are far less likely than women to seek help.

Add Comment

Comments (0)

Copyright © 2023, PACEsConnection. All rights reserved.
Link copied to your clipboard.