Albany community leaders working to restore mental health in black men

Community Leaders Work To Restore Mental Health In Black Men
Community Leaders Work To Restore Mental Health In Black Men(Source: WALB)
Updated: Feb. 24, 2020 at 4:45 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Some Albany leaders are working to move black history forward — mentally.

Activists James Pratt Jr. and King Randall expressed their thought and action about investing in the mental and intellectual health of black youth.

“A knowledge of self creates a love for self and they’ll love themselves once they understand where they come from, who they actually are, not what they’ve been taught,” Randall said.

That's the philosophy Randall and Pratt put into action.

The pair works to shed light on mental health issues within the black community while tackling other issues that can be as simple as literacy.

Randall created programs like “Silence is Violence” and he hosts an "I am Man” march each year.

“We are going through a lot.
Schizophrenia, food disorders, eating disorders, many other disorders, anxiety, nervous breakdowns all that stuff.
We do not talk about these things and we’re wondering why somebody shoots somebody because they bumped into their shoulder,” Randall said.

Pratt said no progress can be made without addressing mental health issues in a community, suffering massive trauma.

“Dealing with those kind of internal conversations, those within group conversations, helps us to build a type of political power that draws us forward,” said Pratt.

This, in turn, would help create a different, yet needed conversation.

“We’re building new narratives that dig even further into the narratives that we haven’t explored into the depth that we have needed that we have needed to in the past,” Pratt said.

Pratt and Randall agree this conversation isn’t just for African-Americans, but for all races.

Uniting as one, will only strengthen the nation as whole.

“My biggest thing is step outside of yourself, see the person’s experiences that are maybe unique to yours, that may show a different type of harm or a type of violence that a person may experience, so I say, step outside of yourself look at another person’s experience through love, compassion and always seek to understand and be understood,” said Pratt.

Randall is also developing after school programs centered on literacy development and sports that lack black participation.

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