In the latest episode of ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! podcast, Insecure actor and activist Kendrick Sampson weighs in on Black mental health and reimagining justice. During his chat with co-hosts Cori Murray and Charli Penn, he talks about advocating for uplifting our communities—despite the pain of being Black in America.
Kendrick Sampson weighed in on various topic including:
• On Organizing to End Oppression: “…If we continue to forgive in the way that we’ve been taught to forgive by our oppressors, then we’ll continue to be oppressed. We can forgive and hold accountable. We can forgive and dismantle. We can forgive and end anti-blackness. We can. And we have to. We owe it to our children. We’re not being kind to our children. We’re not being kind to ourselves if we do not organize to end oppression…”
• On the State of Black Mental Health in America: “We’re going to have unprecedented anxiety and such. We were already in a mental health crisis before this. We had generational trauma. We had PTSD. There’s no way to be born in this country as a Black person, as a person of color, but especially as a Black person, with all the images that we see every day, and the history, and the things that we experience without having poor mental health as a basis…”
• On Our Current Justice Systems: “So my thing is, we try to seek justice through these systems that were literally built to harm us. And we try to work. We’re always thinking of solutions in terms of those systems, like, ‘How do we get justice through this system? What are the legal ways that we can get justice through this system?’ But what our ancestors always did was say, ‘If the system is unjust, and the laws are unjust, then sometimes you have to not honor those laws and those systems, if they are literally built to harm you’…How can we not imagine something better than what’s happening right now?…”