James Lamont DuBose Discusses How He Believes Positive Programming About Mental Health Can Change Perceptions in the Black Community

Jul 5, 2021 12:00 PM ET

Fox Soul’s Head of programming says that educating people about the value of understanding themselves and what makes them tick benefits communities of color.

There are a number of things that are still taboo in the black community. Discussions about mental health fall into the category things black people would rather not discuss. According to James Lamont DuBose, conversations about mental health are essential to the African American community. “It is often difficult for people to open up and discuss mental health in the black community, especially among black males. One reason is admitting that you have a problem is perceived as a sign of weakness. It may be difficult for some people to understand, but strength and pride are tied closely together in the black community.”, James Lamont DuBose said.

Mr. DuBose stated that the way black males have been historically presented through the media and the entertainment industry has fed into the false narrative that black men must always present a position of strength. “So many people in the African American community believe that it is wrong to ask for help when they are in pain, or they are hurting. I believe that there is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it, because everyone needs help at some point in their lives.”, James Lamont DuBose said. This is why I have tried to focus on programming that is geared to introduce the black community to some many mental health conditions in our communities.”, Mr. Dubose said.

James Lamont Dubose Headshot

Mr. DuBose says the fear of being stigmatized, and called crazy by family members and others in the community prevents a lot of people who need therapy from seeking it. “I think that programming that educates and provides avenues to show people how improving their mental health, can also help them live a better more abundant life helps to motivate people to seek the help they need. Showing people through strategic programming that holding on to the things that have hurt them in the past could be standing in the way of them being able to move forward in both their present and future lives is paramount especially in the times we are currently living in.”, James Lamont DuBose said.

Mr. DuBose said that thanks to celebrities like Jennifer Lewis, Taraji P Henson, Jay-Z Brandon Marshall placing their mental health journeys front and center, the stereotypes that have plagued the black community for decades are slowly beginning to fade away. “It is important for people to understand why they choose to engage in certain behaviors, and why they make certain decisions even though they are not to their benefit. I think that showing people through their televisions that they have the ability to change themselves for the better if they are dedicated to doing the things necessary to get them to that point is monumental.”, James Lamont DuBose said.

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