That time Jay stopped by The Cinema Bun Podcast to discuss "War For The Planet Of The Apes"

Once upon a time (over the weekend), Jay joined Berook and Tonja to talk about the new film, War For The Planet Of The Apes and then magic happened. 

Cinema Bun Podcast: WebFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Mike Vick Loses His Invite To The BBQ Over Kaepernick's Afro

Mike Vick, for better or worse, is a vindicated man. His rise and fall was so meteoric that many of my people (black people) were thrown off. All of it over dog fighting. Rather than wallow in his guilt, Vick decided to serve his time, get back into the league, and perform. And that is what he did until he retired recently. With his debts repaid to society (and his debt collectors), Vick is the poster child of NFL redemption.

But now, it seems that he is losing some of his common sense. Either that or he lost it on his climb back into society’s good graces.

The sad part is that the interviews were, minus the malarkey, pretty good. He spoke on Ezekiel Elliot and making sure that athletes focus on the game. He was dropping some gems about representation and being a team player. Hell, the conversation delved into the issues of excess. With that said, Mike Vick spread a lot of his wisdom through his words.

And as quick as Vick sparked that comeback against the Giants on Week 15 back in 2010, he found a way to throw all that excellent commentary out of the window.

When the topic was brought up about Colin Kaepernick, Mike Vick did the worst thing he could do: he caped for the NFL ownership. He suggested that “it has nothing to do with being blackballed” and “Colin didn’t have the best two years the last two seasons.” In a separate interview on “Speak For Yourself,” Vick noted that Colin Kaepernick needs to cut his hair:

First thing we’ve got to get Colin to do is cut his hair. Listen, I’m not up here to try to be politically correct. Even if he puts cornrows in there. I don’t think he should represent himself in that way in terms of just the hairstyle. Just go clean-cut. You know, why not? You’re already dealing with a lot of controversy surrounding this issue. The most important thing that he needs to do is just try to be presentable. [1]

I don’t know about anyone else, but Mike Vick gave some unsurprisingly bad advice.


None of this can surprise me because Mike Vick is an ex-con that is basically redeemed within the conscious of the NFL. When a person is coming from imprisonment and wants to get back into society, he/she will “clean up their image.” He/she will go for an easily manageable, unnoticeable hairstyle. He/She will talk in a way that shows remorse and humility. That person will, without a shadow of a doubt, do whatever it takes to look “safe” to others.

The problem with the “safe” approach is that Colin Kaepernick isn’t an ex-con; he is a man that took a stance that people didn’t like. His image isn’t based on any illegal action he had taken. Kaepernick, by far and wide, has been a model citizen. In fact, his efforts towards social activism should be modeled and applauded. It is sad that a man that is doing everything for the people is being viewed as a felon.

Also, the idea that Kaepernick had some off years in his last two seasons is off. His completion percentage stayed at 59%, while his best year was 62%. He had a rating of 90.7 in 2016 but his highest year was at 98.3 and his second-best year at 91.6. He passed for 16 touchdowns and ran for 4 in 2016 while his highest (21 pass, 4 run) was in 2013. In short, Kapernick’s production wasn’t off; the 49ers sucked.


It is sad when you see one of Black America’s favorite athletes cape for NFL owners. Then again, this is what you do when you are an ex-con trying to be on the good side of ownership. Mike Vick has every right to his opinion. However, just because it is an opinion doesn’t mean that Vick’s sentiments aren’t dead wrong. To be frank, none of what he said made any realistic sense. Just goes to show how the mind works when you want to be redeemed by the powers that be.

I have his gift card to Golden Corral ready for him. He can eat at the buffet.

Reposted with permission from Ripped Em Up.

Mental Health Monday #22: Vanity as self-care, calming anxiety, mentally ill celebs, etc.

Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette from HBO's True Blood).

Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette from HBO's True Blood).

Oh hey, Wonderfulperson,

Welcome to another Monday and to round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life. On last week's situation, we covered depressed rappers and their fans, institutional racism in healthcare, why therapy isn't just for white folks, and shared some resources for facing mental health issues in the workplace. And we shouted out the Therapy For Black Girls podcast. Check it out.

"Nelsan Ellis' Family Shares Circumstances of 'True Blood' Actor's Death" by Ryan Parker [The Hollywood Reporter]

On the morning of Saturday July 8th, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead. Nelsan was a gentle, generous and kind soul. He was a father, a son, a grandson, a brother, a nephew, and a great friend to those that were lucky enough to know him. Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life. His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.

"11 Healthy Ways To Calm Your Anxiety" by Dr. Karen Shanks [Mind Body Green]

We all have those days when the to-do list seems too long, many people are demanding our attention at once, everything goes wrong, and it seems nothing is falling into place the way it was meant to. Feelings like this trigger the fight-or-flight response, which was helpful in cave-woman days when we needed a stress response to fuel our retreat from a threat, like a tiger, for example. But in our modern-day lives when the threats are different and constant, we have the same hormones and neurotransmitters coursing through our bodies, which often manifests as chronic anxiety.

"When Vanity Is Self-Care" by Bassey Ikpi [The Root]

I used my hair as a shield. It kept me from the rest of the world. Where people couldn’t accept “I can’t get out of bed” without a Bible verse or platitude, they accepted “I can’t go! My hair is a mess!” with knowing. My hair was an acceptable excuse for missing gatherings and “I’m in town for a few days” messages. 

Vanity is a common denominator.

"The Rwandan prescription for Depression: Sun, drum, dance, community" [Under The Blue Door]

We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave.

"True Confessions: I Hate Therapy" by Soleil Santana [XO Soleil]

When he mentioned me being in a manic episode, I had to really think about it. It's a been a while since I've been in a hypomanic episode and because they don't happen as often, I tend to forget about that part of my illness. I'm so used to being in a depressive episode at any given point that hypomanic episodes tend to sneak up on me. I started putting two and two together: my irritability, the sudden quitting of my job without really thinking, nonstop racing thoughts and ideas, etc. But I wouldn't have even realized I was in that type of episode if it wasn't for those ten minutes with my therapist. 

Though needed, however, I'm still uncomfortable with therapy... 

"11 Brutal Lies Your Anxiety Constantly Tells You About Yourself" by Lauren Jarvis-Gibson [Thought Catalog]

3. That you should shut yourself off from the world.

Anxiety doesn’t want you to feel fulfilled in your life. It doesn’t want you to be happy or mentally stable either, and tells you that you shouldn’t waste anyone’s precious time. Anxiety tells you that you should probably cancel those plans, because there’s no point in disappointing people (again).

"Sometimes, Staying Woke Means Staying Away' by Bassey Ikpi [The Root]

There is often guilt when there is no movement or room for marches, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t care or that we have grown complacent; it only means that for some of us, the mere ability to find morning is a radical act of resistance. We simply cannot afford to melt and sigh into the latest thing that has broken the world open. Some of us need permission to turn away, to turn off, walk away and spend time in spaces that hold us steady.

The balance is not easy even for the most stable among us.

"11 Times Black Celebs Opened Up About Dealing With Mental Health Issues" by Zeba Blay [HuffPo]

There’s an unfortunate stigma around mental illness, which results in a culture of silence around the subject. In the black community, that culture of silence is twofold, thanks to narratives and stereotypes that place black men and women in boxes of strength and invulnerability that leave little room for reaching out. 

Luckily, in recent years, more and more black people, including those in the public eye, have opened up about dealing with and overcoming the struggles of mental illness.

Mental Health Monday #21: Therapy for Black girls, depressed rappers, manhood lessons, etc.


Dear Homeslice,

Congrats on making it through another week in this hateration-filled dancerie. Welcome to another Monday and to round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life. On last week's party, we had some goodness from rapper Vic Mensa about how social media affected his mental wellness and why we have to open up about our struggles, how racial trauma affects our collective mental health, podcasts by therapists of color, and much more. Check it out.

If you're not listening to the Therapy for Black Girls podcast, with psychologist Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, there's still time to fix your life. The show is a weekly conversation "about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible versions of ourselves." Because she's awesome, Dr. Joy has a dope directory of, you guessed it, therapists for Black girls. On her most recent episode, she and therapist Kiaundra Jackson, LMFT, discussed healthy relationships and you're in luck because you can listen to it right here:


In honor of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, now's a good time to take a look at Dr. Jessica Dere's TEDx talk about how considering cultural factors (traditions, family dynamics, immigration, religion, etc.) when approaching one's mental health. A "one size fits all" approach to wellness overlooks so many important elements of one's situation and personality. 

"Meet 3 20-Somethings Making It Easier For Black Millennials To Talk About Depression" by Zahara Hill [HuffPo]

So contrary to the old folks’ adage, black people living with depression aren’t doing so because they’ve been afforded the luxury of having “white people problems.”

Thankfully, a number of creative black 20-somethings with mental illnesses are addressing the stigma that surrounds it. But three, in particular, have stood out for the unique ways they’re going about furthering the mental health dialogue.

"Rap’s Biggest Stars Are Depressed & So Are Their Fans" by Morgan Olsen [DJ Booth]

We sing along at the top of our lungs to Lil Uzi Vert's hit single “XO Tour Llif3,” chanting, “She said I’m insane yeah, I might blow my brains out. Xanny for the pain yeah, please Xanny make it go away.” This song is all over the radio. Yet, we gloss over the fact that Uzi is quite possibly hanging on for dear life, taking Xanax to numb the pain while thoughts of taking his own life run through his head.

"How My Father Taught Me to Be a Man" by Clay Cane [Advocate]

I became seriously introverted. I was afraid to speak or move too suddenly and was in a state of constant nervousness. There was no space to be myself. I was labeled a “nervous child,” but no one understood that my father kept me on a choking, hypermasculine leash. I’d practice masculinity in the mirror. Trying to move my hands the “right” way, pacing my steps so I wasn’t “swishing”; studying masculinity was my survival technique to endure the mental abuse from my father.

"Is there institutional racism in mental health care?" by Isaac Fanin [BBC]

When Eche Egbuonu, who has bipolar disorder, was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, he should have been taken to a safe environment - usually a hospital - for a medical assessment.

Instead, he was taken straight to a police station.

"“Strong as Glass” Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness & Black women" by Abesi Manyando [Think Pynk]

When asked to imagine mental health in the black community, many people could probably envision a brick wall between themselves and the person they are trying to confide in. It’s a widely known stereotype that topics like depression and suicide are “white people things” or that mental illnesses will just pass on like a common cold. As Black women we’ve been taught that we have super powers and strength unknown to regular human beings. 

"You’re Not White… And Other Reasons Black People Don’t Go to Therapy" by Esther Boykin [Psyched]

But this particular friend has always been my partner in the unspoken battle to win over our little pocket of the black community to the benefits of therapy. So when my friend’s daughter shared that she had visited a therapist on campus I was thrilled—not because of the pain this young woman was experiencing, but because she felt comfortable talking openly about it with her parents and the rest of us in the room. My heart leapt with pride and hope about how far we had come in our attitudes toward mental health.

But then my friend, my partner in expanding our community’s view of mental health, said, “Why? You’re not white. And you don’t have any real problems. What do you have to go to therapy for? These suburban kids are so soft… you don’t know what problems are.


Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights [EEOC]

 Have a mental health story, video, resource, or event we need to know about? Don't be stingy. Send it our way!

Mental Health Monday #20: Talking self-harm with kids, Vic Mensa on harmful stigmas, podcasts by therapists, etc.


¡Hola, Pimpjuice! Welcome to another round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life. On last week's party, we had some goodness about Reggie Osse's podcast on Chris Lighty, a veteran who battled depression after serving in Iraq, some advice from Nikki Lynette on how to get it together when life gets really real, a high school's decision to focus on mental health, and more. Check it out.

The Weekly Feelgood: All 192 members of New Edition (the group and the BET movie cast) performing together at the 2017 BET Awards. And here it is. And here's the rehearsal. Shoutout to choreographers Leon Lee and Brook Payne.


"Drugs alone won't cure the epidemic of depression. We need strategy" by Mark Rice-Oxley [The Guardian]

I can’t help but think that this new depression epidemic is partly down to inflated expectations, to untrammelled individualism and the culture of winner takes all. The pressure to “succeed”, the urgency to validate our short lives with obvious and unambiguous “achievement”: show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser, they say. No, how about show me a winner and I’ll show you someone on the verge of cracking up.

Rapper Vic Mensa talked to BET about social media, cyberbullying, and erasing harmful stigmas around mental health among Black folks.

"This Powerful Campaign Is Dedicated To Silencing The Shame Of Mental Health In The Black Community" by Mariya Mosely [Essence]

Two-decade-old hip-hop veteran, Shanti Das, is working to change that with her new campaign, Silence The Shame. After struggling with her personal battle with depression and anxiety, she’s working to tackle to stigmas around discussing mental health in the Black community.

"The Little Understood Mental-Health Effects of Racial Trauma" by Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez [Science of Us]

Due to cultural stigma and barriers to care like insurance and jobs that provide time off work, black Americans are substantially less likely to receive mental-health treatment that other ethnic groups. This is particularly problematic because black Americans are 20 percent more likely to suffer from mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. For those who suffer from mental illness, the recycling of brutality and violence on the news may worsen symptoms.

"What Happened When My 9-Year-Old Asked Me About My Self-Harm Scars" by Shawna Slater [The Mighty]

He asked me, “Mom, what are those white marks all over your leg from? Did you get hurt?” I figured I could handle this one of two ways. I could either lie to him (and him call me out on it) or I could be honest and try or explain this to him at a level that he would understand.

"5 mental health podcasts by therapists of color" by Davia Roberts [Redefine Enough]

There's no denying that mental health is highly stigmatized in communities of color. Thankfully, stigma hasn't stopped these therapists from spreading awareness through their mental health podcasts. Check out 5 dope podcasts by therapists of color.

If you haven't seen it, filmmaker, writer, photographer, and artist Darnell Lamont Walker released a documentary about Black Mental Health. Learn more here.


Therapy for Black Girls Directory

National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color

American Association of Pastoral Counselors

Do you have a mental health-related story, video, event, or resource we should know about?

Are you a mental health professional? Alex is building a database of Black mental health professionals and fitness/yoga/swimming/reiki/nutrition/boxing/dance teachers/coaches/practitioners, etc. See how you can be involved.