Tuesday March 18th was a profound night at The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial & Educational Center, formerly known as the Audubon Ballroom… Public Relations guru Terrie Williams could not have picked a better location to launch the Healing Starts With Us national campaign with the Stay Strong Foundation. One of the catalysts for this movement was Terrie’s article in Essence Magazine a few years ago about battling depressing. The article and following stories shared with Terrie from various individuals became the foundation for the book- Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting. The book articulates the stories of people, including athletes and entertainers, who have suffered from depression. The 200 plus crowd filled The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial & Educational Center on Tuesday night, heard excerpts from Black Pain read by some notable names: actress, writer and producer Madeline McCray, actor John Amos, comedian and actress Monique, author Terry McMillan, actors Jaime Hector and Felicia Pearson from HBO’s The Wire and Academy Award® nominee Ruby Dee. Jeff Johnson from BET supported the event with a pre-recorded video message regarding the importance of this movement, the Reverend Al Sharpton took the stage and opened the program with praise for Terrie Williams and her courage in sharing her story and getting others to share their story about depression. The two hosts of the evening: Susan Taylor Editorial Director of Essence Magazine and Geoffrey Canada author, educator and President/CEO of Harlem’s The Children Zone took over for the Reverend and conducted the rest of the program. The powerful readings from Black Pain were followed by a number of personal testimonies from the audience regarding their challenges with depression. With this event and movement, Terrie wanted to drive home the point that everyone goes through things regardless of one’s background or level of income. The incredible thing is to ask people to commit to healing themselves and then helping to heal others in the community.
Photography and writing provided by Derrick Salters for HW Magazine, Inc.,.