[short film Fridays] Black Mask
A mini short by Akiya McKnight about a African-American man who falls deep into a dark space as life mishaps arise. This film explores African-American depression in honor of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.
Black Mask” is important because it expounds on the taboo topic of mental heath particularly African-American Male depression. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young African American men. In 2010, over 80% of all Black suicides were males. Even with these alarming stats openly speaking, acknowledging and seeking out treatment for mental heath issues among African-American males is still devastatingly low.
“A lot of times it’s issues around gender performance, expectations, how we look,” said Dr. David Malebranche, an internist and primary care physician at the University of Pennsylvania, to News One. “With Black men, people don’t want to see us as depressed and it’s not on the radar for health care providers to see us as depressed.”
“With “Black Mask” it is my mission to visually help African-Americans see how important our mental health is and to recognize the signs in our men specifically. If you were not aware July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month so I will be releasing the film on Monday July 31st in honor of this vital issue. Check out the film poster below and follow me on Instagram @visionarher to keep up with this film and my upcoming projects! Oh and don’t worry I will also release the link info on Monday! Be well and don’t forget to check on your strong friends and family too!” – Akiya Mcknight