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Introduction By Oghalé Alex

A Pink Shadeexploring the duality between black men and depression.

Joyce Meyer once said, “Depression begins with disappointment. When disappointment festers in our soul, it leads to discouragement.” I’ve swished this quote in and around my head as one does with mouthwash in the morning many times over the years. As black men, especially in America, our lives are full of disappointment. The disappointment of not getting recognized, the disappointment of being qualified yet overlooked, the disappointment of being treated as inferior simply for being black. I want to stand and fight but the voice in my head says run. Run fast, run hard, and run away. But does running produce answers or a solution? No. As common as depression is amongst black people, we refuse to talk about it. We refuse to believe that we can be soft and have emotions. Somewhere along the line, we bought the dream sold to us that we must always be hard, rough, and strong. But that’s simply untrue. We should acknowledge our weaknesses because our real strength lies is identifying our weaknesses and building up one another through the soft pink shade of compassion.