COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Audiences love to sing along with Musiq Soulchild who is known all around the world for his R&B hits.
The Grammy winner is now using his platform to raise awareness about Black men and mental health. Musiq will serve as honorary chair for the upcoming African American Wellness Walk in Atlanta.
He spent Thursday evening at Columbus State Community College leading a necessary conversation about an essential topic that so many men might avoid — mental health.
“I think something like this is so important because it creates an environment when men, specifically Black men, can say, ‘OK, this is a safe space. Ay, bro. I need to talk to you about some stuff.'” Musiq said.
The event, called “Real men, real talk” was put on by the African American Male Wellness agency.
“In the African American community, talking and being vulnerable and even telling someone you’re having issues, it’s unacceptable, it’s frowned upon,” said Tracy Murphy who attended the event. “What this would be considered as is a safe space and it’s not often that Black men . . . can come and just hash thing out.”
During several breakout sessions, men discussed relationships with their children, everyday stresses, and combating stereotypes that come with being a Black man.
In another breakout session, Malik Willoughby thought of a common thread he saw on display.
“It’s really important men understand that, as far as our history and our track record, culture and conditioning and those levels of vulnerability, that it’s important that we are not alone,” Willoughby said.
Dozens of women also attended the event and held their own breakout sessions.
The African American Wellness Walk takes place in cities throughout the country. Columbus’ walk, which is where the event originated, kicks off Saturday, August 13 from Livingston Park.