Literature & Ebooks
Black Mental Health Poet Shares Feelings On Grief & Gun Violence In America For all those in the Black community who have seen lives cut short by violence, hate or discrimination, Aisha Tariqa Abdul Haqq has put her feelings into poetic verse for you. Her writing centers on the emotion of grief, which she describes as a particularly hard thing to swallow. More specifically, her work is focused on the profound loss, sadness and oppression which is often endured by members of the African American community like yourself. The burden of depression is shouldered far more heavily by African Americans. Moreover, members of the Black community who are diagnosed with depression typically endure a more serious, chronic, and severely debilitating form of the disease. Sadly, this unequal burden still exists despite the fact that cases of depression and mental illness tend to be heavily under-reported in African American communities. This is due to the fact that the issue still remains taboo. In Aisha Tariqa’s opinion, grief is a poison that has been forced down the throats of Black Americans like yourself for so long that you have forgotten what it's like to be without it. However, the poet also understands that poetry has long been regarded as a communal way to deal with mental health issues. You will find it easy to connect with her slam poetry style, a medium of choice for many in the Black artistic community. In her debut book, 'Four Years in Chrysalis', she reflects upon the waves of grief she endured following the death of her baby brother due to gun violence. One extract from the book that you will find particularly moving runs as follows: “If you should ache in the evenings for loved ones wishing that the truth were less than true Remember the soft hilarity of their face and the gentle mischief smiles reminding you why smiles exist Think of these things and ache further For they will remind you of why you should ache” Aisha Tariqa Abdul Haqq is a determined and passionate young poet. She believes in the power of the written word to attain both individual and communal catharsis. She encourages you to follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @AishaTariqa. Go to https://bit.ly/AishaTariqaBooks to find out more.