Kat Blaque, Kodie Shane, & Kendrick Sampson Get Real About Mental Health | Sound On | MTV News

Kat Blaque, Kodie Shane, & Kendrick Sampson Get Real About Mental Health | Sound On | MTV News

– We can receive counseling
in the form of love. – But,
– I can agree. (laughing) – I can agree.
– Wait a minute though, – I’m going to let you speak, though. – There’s a type of counseling
that love can’t give you. – Welcome everybody. We are here today to talk about something that’s really important
and not discussed enough: Mental health in the black community. So, I’m really curious
with everyone on the panel, how are you guys brought up? What sort of situations,
what sort of communities were you brought up?
Because obviously we talk a lot about the black community, but there’s a lot of different, diverse, different types of black communities, so I’m curious what
everyone’s background is. – I’m from a little small
town, Forest, Virginia, you know, I grew up
personally a very overweight, chubby kid, glasses, asthma. I had a .6 GPA at one point in time. I started off at a public school, transferred to a private school but both, predominantly, was, it was
only at my private school, it was only one other black person there. – I stood out. (chuckling) – Yeah, I am child of Nigerian immigrants so you know, I’m the first gen, you know, kid, trying to be my parents’, you know, wildest dreams
or whatever. (laughs) Yeah, I grew up in Tennessee,
specifically Nashville. My parents moved out to the suburb Antioch right about when I started kindergarten, so that’s where we were for a while. It was a rich, white suburb. – I went to a bunch of different schools. I grew up in a suburb of
Houston, Missouri City, Texas, and the, we grew up in a black neighborhood, predominantly black neighborhood, but we didn’t have much
interaction with our neighbors. We went to private schools, and so we were like the
only speck of color, you know, maybe one other in the schools, and I went to a different
school every year. You know, my dad did not believe or does not believe in God. My mom was very religious, and so we went to her church. My mom’s white, and her church was white. – I grew up, I was raised in, born in Atlanta, raised in Chicago, I’m like the youngest of five, one more little brother, so I grew up with a big family, a lot of people all the
time, a lot of family. My sisters, my brother, my granddad, so I’m you know, that’s
me, I’m all about family. That’s my thing. So yeah. – Nice. – So I’m curious, I know
that this is maybe touchy, but I’m wondering if any of you guys have dealt with any sort of mental illness or struggling with trauma
or things like that. And if you, if anyone was
open to discussing that and how you’ve sort of dealt
with that in your upbringing and how you’re coping with it now. – I have PTSD. I have anxiety, and I have depression. How I dealt, it manifested
itself in my upbringing in that, love my parents, but them being, you know, immigrants,
they have vested interests in wanting their children,
their family, to succeed. So, you feel that pressure
growing up in that. So you know, you got to
have the straight As, and even if you have the straight As. You know, you come home with a 95, they’re like where’s the other 5 points? Like you got the A, right, but they’re still like,
where’s the other, you know. So there was pressure there, and then for me specifically, you know my weight became an issue. You know, I’m a big girl,
and I’m okay with that, but you know my parents were like eh, not really. So there was a lot of like fat
antagonism in the household, which was also funny, too, ’cause they were also heavier people so it’s, you know, that
interplay was interesting. So for me, even though I’m
out of that environment now, you know the way that my,
specifically, my depression manifests is that you still
hear that negative talk, but now it’s coming from inward, like these people are no longer there, but now these messages are something that you are bombarding yourself with. So, and you know, and I’m
in therapy and whatever, but it took me a couple of
years to get to that point. – I agree to that. Personally, I don’t hold the label, or am classified with any type of PTSD. – Yeah, that’s how, yeah. – My father was in the military. He went to the, he was in the Air Force. He retired on disability. Now, I’ve seen him go through some things, and I meant to mention, I
have two older brothers. They’re 10 and 13 years older than me. I was the whoops, here we go again, baby. (laughing)
They didn’t expect it. And so, my older brothers saw a different father than
I did, because of that gap, but I’ve seen him go through some things, medically, mentally, and watching how he balanced it. – I think it’s also, I
mean I’ve got plenty, but I’ve gone through a lot of therapy, and I deconstructed a lot of things, and even now, I’m still deconstructing, and I think that’s gonna
be like an endless, an endless journey.
– Battle. – Yeah, but you know, I have
like pretty bad anxiety, but I grew up in an abusive household. You know, even like my dad did not let us associate with the family much. My family, you know my mom’s family also ostracized her for
marrying a black man. And so, we didn’t associate
with family enough, but even that brings a sort of, when you see everybody else having these happy homes on the holidays, and you don’t have
anybody coming to visit, you know, so it’s like
simple things like that, we don’t really understand how it then forms us growing up. Even things that I thought were normal, like my mom had, back when
there was like manic depression, or incorrect diagnoses of my brother, and how he had to go
through several medications, and seeing that sort of trauma, and then also just deconstructing
generational trauma within being a person of
color in this country, so there is that trauma that comes down from everything that my mom experienced, everything that my dad experienced. Both of them went to
segregated high schools, you know, that type of thing. My dad did not have voting
rights when he first turned 18. That seeps into us. – So, there is trauma there. – So, when it comes to sort of discussing mental illnesses and trauma
and things like that, like you mentioned that
your father had PTSD. How were those conversations had? Was he able to go to therapy? Was that something that was encouraged? Like, how did that happen? – He shoulda, but you know, some pride there.
– Mm-hmm. – You know, and I think it’s a lot of pride with a lot of people, the reason why they don’t
want to get counseling. Sometimes you see it
as a form of weakness, and that’s myth that a
lot of people buy into, and so my dad definitely was one. He didn’t want anybody
else giving their opinion on what he was going through, and he acted out in other
ways of turning to alcohol. He drank every single day. He smoked cigarettes every single day. He slowly started to separate
himself from the family. I’m 33. I made it to the League. I never smoked a day in my life. I never drank a day in my life, and it was just to prove him wrong, right? And in doing that, him
watching his little knucklehead kid prove him wrong, he quit drinking and smoking himself. And so, because of that engagement and because
how I took that challenge, instead I could have took
that and Lord knows what. I could have been a very angry, bitter, “F– everybody” type of attitude, but I took that as a challenge, and because of what he went
through it made us closer. And so, I think a lot of times with PTSD and any other label we
want to give somebody, how you respond to it is more of the brilliancy than the label. And so, we can receive counseling
in the form of love. It doesn’t even always have to be sitting across from somebody
– I agree with that. that’s a specialized individual, and I think we’ve skip
that a lot of times. – But… – Okay. (laughing) – I can agree. – Wait a minute, though. – I’m going to let you speak. – There’s a type of counseling that love can’t give you, okay?
– Yeah. – And lIke a lot of time I think that like especially with the military, our government should be providing them with much, much, much, I mean there’s no re-entry program. – Nope. – It’s not a thing, and to put somebody out there and expect them to get help later, and they shouldn’t be
responsible for paying for it. They’re like, oh you
disrespect our veterans, but y’all willing to give
away their healthcare, like it’s just not, there’s
this whole thing about, my dad was in the military, you know, and he want to Vietnam,
and just think about, you know, he had PTSD
before he went to Vietnam. You know what I mean? He grew up in segregation in rural, rural, rural Louisiana. – So like, peak Jim Crow, (laughs) – Okay? And he was orphaned. – Oh wow. – You know, and that’s not uncommon for black people in the
South, you know what I mean? So, your father’s
generation, like you know, there’s a lot of, “Love can heal.” And I 100% believe that, but
within the black community, as we’re talking about
it, a lot of the time, we dismiss counseling. We dismiss therapy and professional help because they’re like, my dad
doesn’t even believe in it. He’s like “Ain’t no diagnosis. Ain’t nothing wrong with your brother. Ain’t nothing da-ta-da-da-da.” “All he needs is this.” You know? They think you need discipline. They think you need church. They think you need some love
and community around you, and it’s like nah, you need a little bit of something more (laughs), you know. – It’s a great thing. Therapy is a beautiful thing. It’s good to talk about your emotions. It’s good to cry, get it all out, and start to move forward,
but I don’t know why, especially as a man, you know, we’re kind of closed
off a little bit more. And that’s what we have to address first is the openness to even see it, which is hard. – Well, I want to kind of rewind back to two points that you made earlier. So the drinking and the smoking. So, I feel like at one
point, I guess millennials or whatever we want to call
ourselves at this point, have to have honest conversations about our parents’
generation self-medicating because they’re not
into the therapy scene. – Yeah. – They don’t want to talk about it. My father was also an alcoholic. It’s the reasons I have, like some complex relations
with alcohol myself. I’m like I like it, but I’m just like, because that is in my family I have to be careful with it. – Yeah. – So, I think about that a lot, because my mom, she didn’t
do the self-medicating thing, but she clung to like other
things that I noticed. She was like a big
hoarder, so they were like, there were things that I feel
our parents did to fill that, I don’t want to say emotional
gap because that’s like, it doesn’t really quite get
at it, but that whatever, whatever was eating at
them that they couldn’t properly diagnose at the time. And then the other thing I
think I wanted to comment on was I think the labeling is important because I feel like
our community struggles ’cause its already tough
enough being black. And then if you’re gay, there’s something else to add. For a black person who does
have a mental disorder, it can be hard being like,
“Hey I have this extra thing,” ’cause it’s another thing, another thing you have
– Adding on. – to deal with on top of the other BS, so. – You don’t want to talk about my (beep), because I was… (laughs)
– We do, really. – I understood that my family
wouldn’t understand me for, immediately, and so I
ran away to Hollywood very young, you know,
and so we didn’t ever really deal with anything, you know, like my family’s very passive aggressive, so we, I, like we’re the sort of family we write letters to each other, you know. We never have actual conversations. We write letters, and
then we read the letters, and then we might not
even talk about the letter until it’s time to weaponize it, so yeah. – That’s intense. – Yeah, I mean, but like growing up when I wanted to go to therapy,
you know my little brother, both me and my little
brother were both adopted. My little brother was
born addicted to crack, and he has had an immense amount
of issues because of that. And they’ve always been
really, really good at getting him help, like put him, my dad’s a little bit of a hypochondriac, so constantly going to the doctor, so they really made sure
that the got his (beep) taken care of but when it came to
me, they were like, “Nah.” And I remember when were were
in family therapy one time because they wanted me to
come in as part of his thing, and it was emotional. I sort of acknowledged
that when I was younger, I had sort of dealt
with suicidal ideations. And I had done all of this,
like several different attempts, under their nose. – Wow. – But they didn’t even notice. That’s kind of how I largely
felt was very, very ignored by my family and just sort of had to deal with things on my own. When we were talking about
substance and using that as a way of responding
to some of these things, I remember when I was in college, and I was looking at different therapies that I could go to, it was expensive. I mean like therapy sessions,
hundreds of dollars, and I was a college student. (scoffs) I could barely afford
Top Ramen, so you know, but I could go down the street and get some Boone’s Farm, you know,
and just keep drinking that. So, I wonder sometimes if
the lack of access to therapy is a reaction to, you know what, we don’t have money for this. This is not covered by insurance, and maybe it’s just
not that big of a deal, like maybe like we, I
mean it is a big deal, but it’s treated like “Oh, you know, you’ll get over it,
pray on it.” (chuckles) That’ll be the solution. My family very much had
the attitude of, you know, if you have any issue,
we’ll just, you pray on it. God will show you the way, and hmm, I never, that was
never really sufficient, especially when most of what I wanted my parents to do was acknowledge, so I’m wondering if any of
you guys have dealt with that. – I am ex-evangelical, ex-Baptist, born and raised that way. And definitely that was
the overwhelming attitude, like yeah, just pray on it. God’ll remove it, or you know, you don’t have it or whatever. One of the things that I actually remember doing when I was really young, you know, ’cause this was when I still
bought into the whole thing, I think I was like seven or eight, and I went to the little main pastor, and I was just like okay, I’m just going to tell him about my issue. Maybe he can help ’cause he was, you know, “there to help,” I guess, or whatever. So, I told him, ’cause my home situation wasn’t very good either,
also very abusive, and I told him, I explained the points, what was going on, and I told him, like I’m really depressed, and I like explicitly used that word, and he was just like,
no you’re not depressed. Why would you ever say that,
like there was this whole, like a whole ten-minute conversation, scolding me about using that word, and then another like explanation about how God doesn’t
make depressed people, and I was like oh– okay? So, that was pretty much the attitude. – My mom and my dad haven’t been together since I was maybe one or two, so I wouldn’t say that my mom was like super-ever like crazy
religious, like go pray about it, but I’ve always made my
relationship with God and kept that close to me. But my dad, on the
other hand, he’s Muslim, so I think when I was around 16 or 17, he might have found out I like girls and came and sat on my bed and was like, “Here, read this passage aloud,” and I’d just start reading,
he was like, “Read it,” so I started reading it in
my head, and he was like, “No, read it aloud,” and it’s like, yo, like you’re an abomination, like. – Wow. – All this, so from then one, I’ve always kind of been real weird, you know what I’m saying, kind of weird. It’s been a touchy, it’s
a touchy subject for me because that situation was just like, get me out of here ASAP, so I don’t know, I’ve always kind of been
weird about it, I guess now. – That makes sense.
– Absolutely. – Yeah. – Religion has been used to kill people and free people
from the exact same word. The exact same word create, forced, or was used to manipulate slavery. – [All] Mm-hmm. – And that exact same word
was used to release slavery, and so, when I look at the word of God, I look at it as purity, and
I watch how we manipulate it for our good, for what we
want to happen at the end. – I have so many problems
with it, and I have, (laughter) and listen, I think it’s given
me my reason for activism, like I think that if you do
follow the teachings of Jesus, you have to know that he was an activist. You have to know that he ran around, trying to lift up the most vulnerable, that he wasn’t use it abusively, running around condemning
gay people, but, you know, I always have, especially
in terms of mental health, which a large contributor
to poor mental health is the abuse of religion. – Especially in our
communities, but you know, I had this Latina girl that I think, I really
respect her, think she’s dope, but the other day she was like, “You don’t need…” I was
like I need a new therapist, I need a new therapist bad. I’m like we’re about to go
into this election year. I need a ther- a- pist, like
you know, just waking up where, born into this
country as a person of color, you’re born into a hostile environment. Over the past two years,
with this fool in office, we are born into an even more hostile environment every single day. You wake up, and it’s tension, right? – Yeah. – And so I was like, “I
need a therapist, bad.” And she was like, “Well when
you’re connected to the source, when you’re connected to de-te-de-de-de, you don’t blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. You just have to pray on it.”
– Send it to the realm. – Yeah, you just have to pray on it and meditate on it.
– And fire breathing. – And I said, “You know,” I told her, “You know what? It’s so funny you said that,
because I’ve been praying and meditating, and you
know what God told me? I need a therapist.” “That’s what God told me.” There would not be therapy, if God didn’t want it to be there. If you believe in God, and you have all these therapists around, you don’t think, you think the therapists are sinning by giving people help? You don’t think that they’re ordained, that they have a purpose on this earth to help people beyond
what the church can do? – I mean, for me, once my dad kinda did like took us steps
back in our relationship. I don’t think I ever spent
a night as his house again. – It was crazy. I think I told my mom, like “Yo, I got to get out of here,” and
my mom like cussed him out, but I mean growing up like getting older, we never, which is so weird, to this day, I’m 20-years-old right now, we’ve never talked about that. Like it’s never been like, “Yo Dad, you know that was weird.” Or like, “Yo,Kodie, I’m sorry about that.” You know, it’s never been, it’s more, it’s just so more like, “Yo,” two years later,
“This is my girlfriend. I hope you like her.” So, I feel we’ve kind of
weirdly, I don’t know, brushed it under the rug, which sucks. That’s something that I hate, that I’m actually really
realizing it right now with y’all, and I love him. I feel like dads are
like, “My little girl,” you know what I’m saying? And it didn’t all the way
happen, all the way exactly like, I’m still his little girl, always. It’s not like I’m a guy
or I want to be a guy, but I’m not his super,
his little girly girl, you know what I’m saying? I’m just his little girl,
you know what I mean? – It’s not what he looked– – It’s not what he, yeah,
it’s not what he expected, I guess, but hey. – It’s funny ’cause you mentioning that made me realize that like me and my father hadn’t talked about our stuff, at all.
– Yeah, like we don’t talk about it. – We just don’t never, like I have a very, very
distinct memory of my father looking at a news story about AIDS and being like, “This is the retribution, you know, for the LGBT community,” and like I didn’t say anything. I internalize it. – It’s kinda, you just
internalize it, like it’s my dad. You know what I’m saying?
– What are you gonna say? – Like I don’t wanna go talk to my Dad.
– It’s not supposed to be – your, that’s my hero. My hero is saying that I’m gonna, that’s what’s gonna happen to me. – That’s my future, yeah. – And that’s like, you know, so that’s why I think that was actually
the moment I realized, like oh, we’re not gonna be able to, like moving forward, him and I are not gonna keep it
– We don’t keep it close. – Like yeah. You’re my father, I love you, but we’re only gonna have
so much of a relationship, and you know it’s weird because now, I wish sometimes we had
more of those conversations, because we probably would be okay. – Therapy is a luxury. I think we’ve agreed on that,
financially is a luxury. And I think freedom of
time is a luxury, as well. That’s not really talked
about as a luxury. – To have freedom of time, “I got time, in the day to do X, Y
and Z on the calendar.” That’s a luxury, so you said, you know, you were being busy tied in, obviously, you
say you got some pride. And then tying that in with growing up without the financial luxury. So all these things keep on naturally, because of the survival,
pushing therapy away, because I don’t have the money. I don’t have the time, and– – Gotta just keep coming up with excuses. – Like yeah.
– You know what I’m saying? – And in terms of like counseling, therapy being a luxury, my
biggest thing is it shouldn’t be. – Right. – You know, it shouldn’t be.
– It should be accessible, – It should be accessible.
– It should, health care in general should be accessible, but no. – You know, but it’s not. – [Group] It’s not, it’s not. – Like even, I think in
California it’s like 50– over 50% of the school budget
is security in schools. It’s like cops in our schools, and you don’t see them cops at Beverly Hills High School, right? They’re concentrated,
they’re spending millions and millions and millions of dollars on policing and you know, the school-to-prison pipeline, literally, on making kids of color
feel inferior, criminal, criminalized, all kinds
of stuff, and instead, they should be, you know because we talk about education, health. Public safety is not,
this is very big to me, and it largely comes a
framing from Patrisse Cullors. Public safety is not cops on every corner, like when you think of
a safe neighborhood, you don’t think of cops on every corner. So police don’t necessarily
make neighborhoods safe, right, they don’t.
– Period. – They don’t, they make
’em more unsafe, right. But what makes things
safe are jobs, health, healthcare, right, healthy
people, and education. – Yeah. – And instead of investing in education, they defund programs in
communities of color. They don’t give us the proper books. They put police in, you know,
and make us feel inferior. They heighten the tension. They heighten the discomfort level, and what they should be doing is investing more in counseling so that kids can deal with like, if they’re not having, if they don’t have a come to, if they have rampant sexual abuse, or like conversations like you guys had, like you should be able to
go to a safe space at school, and be like this is what I’m dealing with. – Yeah, absolutely. – Yeah, and you mentioning the thing about kids and making a part of school, makes me think of all
the kids who you know, are written off as bad kids, you know. – There’s nobody to talk to. – You’re right.
– Yeah. – Or, you know, there wasn’t
the proper health, or you know, the proper attention.
– All of that. – You know, maybe they had a
literal like behavior disorder that they have no control over, like you know, things of that nature. – Recently I’ve been
doing this thing where I’m peeling back a bit from social media because I’ve just recognized that it’s not always the best for me. And I think when I really
started to feel this was when we were constantly, it felt like, almost every other day, hearing about an unarmed black teenager.
– Literally twice a week. – Yeah, and it was
exhausting and upsetting, and I’m really curious how
you guys felt about that, because low-key, like
even though at the time where this was happening, I was living in, not a relatively safe area. I would go out like just nervous that if I did one little thing, you know seeing the news, I knew if someone did something to me, it would be justified by the
basis of me just being black. And so, that made me, that really impacted my mental health during when I was really getting all of that news, so I’m really curious how you guys have been responding
to those conversations especially around the time
where Mike Brown was happening and a lot of the conversations
and reactions to that. – Being in the NFL, playing
with the New York Giants, when a lot of these things was going on, I got on the horn with myself
and created a group chat, about 45 guys, right, it
was 45 guys in the NFL, we’re all in the group chat. We’re talking about things that we can do. Personally, I said that I wanted to create a dialog amongst myself,
the team, the NYPD, the local legislation, and
we brought in Cory Booker, and a couple of other people
just to sit on a panel, and say, all right, realistically, because I’ve got this thing
that I call law versus emotion. Law versus emotion, what is the law? What is my emotion? And which one is going to win? The law, so effectively to get change, we have to change these
laws, as well as focusing on the process and due diligence of them. And so I brought in as
many people as I could. Again, I don’t have all the right answers. I’m just, this is what I did. And that was the same time period that Kap was in the group chat, and he
said what he was going to do. Took a knee, right? And so, we watched, like I got a chance to watch everything unspiral,
from like inside of it. And it’s a difficult thing to deal with. I personally tried, when
it comes to social media, I put out things and feelers and make people ask a better question than the ones that’s already out. When it comes to social media, I try to push out things
that show balance, and try not to stir up emotions unless I’m trying to use
that emotional energy to create reason and change the law, because that’s the only way you win. Create more emotion, emotion, emotion, but it’s not changing any laws or even focus to change any laws. It’s great, to a degree. I think everything’s needed, but I just come from that principle. And so for social media,
I just shy away from, and you know, because I hear so, I hear people have great intentions, but then they say things
that are so unsound. – So crazy. – That gives another
side a loophole to then, just pummel everything you just stood for. And I get frustrated in that. – Social media changes things a little because it makes ’em, A, now
readily available to you, and sometimes like Kendrick pointed out, like they come to you. Like the notifications,
they’re coming to you. – People are tagging you. – Social media is like a world of things that you don’t ask to see,
but you have to see it anyway. – Yes, that’s the perfect– – It’s like the news/World Star. – Yeah, you’re exhausted.
– You didn’t really want to see, you’re gonna see this. – Yeah. – Back when I was a kid, I couldn’t see somebody get shot. I never seen nobody die,
you know what I’m saying, like blood everywhere. You’re dying, you’re dead. But now, like my little brother can just watch a person get shot in the head. – [Group] Yeah.
– You know what I’m saying, it’s crazy when I think about that. It’s crazy now. – And sometimes those
videos that are posted that are that graphic
are posted by activists just trying to show that it’s happening. – Right. – At least for me, it’s
like I’m appreciative that we know that it’s
happening, we have footage, but seeing it happen over
and over and over again, and then seeing the response to it, and then seeing how people react to it. Well, he should have done this
and he should have done that. – Because I do music, I have to say this. When Biggie or Tupac died, it wasn’t all over the Internet. It wasn’t, you didn’t see
picture of them, he’s dead, but when XXX died, rest in
peace, it was like everywhere. Yeah, like wow, people were seeing their favorite rapper dying, so it’s crazy out here right now. – I feel like for us to
answer that question, we have to be honest about
the history of this country. – Agreed. – And the currency that
(giggles) black bodies hold in this country, right? There’s this preoccupation
and this fascination with black bodies that can be tied to historical institutions
in this country, and I feel like when, I
feel like this plays out on social media because
people put out these images. – We’re desensitized. – Thank you. – We’re desensitized.
– Desensitized, and people don’t care. – Oh, it’s a black person, of course. – It’s more just like, keep scrolling. – You know, put this person, you know, hanging from
this tree and this noose on this timelines going
to be super casual, like I literally had
to, I had to curse out a longtime follower because
I saw that in my feed, and was just like look,
maybe you don’t care about black people or black bodies. I don’t want to see that in my feed. I just feel like it doesn’t belong there, and I feel like when you let yourself become desensitized to something like that you stop giving a (beep),
excuse my language. You just stop. – I have an interesting view on this because I agree with you and like I think it’s all necessary in different facets. I don’t think everybody
handles it respectfully but you have to think about it, and talking about the
history of the country you have to think about what Emmett Till’s open casket did, right? If there was no open
casket of Emmett Till, there would not have been outrage. It would not have made headlines. It would not have sparked, you
know, the change that it did. Or, I’m not saying that that
change went far enough, right, but every bit of progress
has been fought for. No politician gave us anything. No benevolent white person was, “You know what, you’re right, I’m wrong.” (laughter) Give you everything. – There you go. – It was literally people
fighting every single step of the way for any type of progress that we’ve ever had in
this country, right? Otherwise, the status quo would be kept for those billionaires or whoever, you know, on most of he wealth. So, I think that in this time, yes, it’s highly traumatic and some people are desensitized to it,
and some people, I’m not. – We’re talking about trauma, right? We got to think about the type of trauma that it’s giving these kids,
you know what I’m saying? 12-year-old dark skin
boy, he just seen a dude that looked exactly like
him get shot in the face, and he ain’t asked to see that, you know what I’m saying,
so I feel like, in back, I feel like it was easier
to control back then. Like you can turn on the news. Okay, this is what I want to watch. I want to see the state of
the country or whatever, but now it’s like, I
don’t want to see that, and I keep seeing it, you know I’m saying, so I feel like I guess it
was more controlled then. – Well most of that was–
– I still think it’s good to see the proof, like I agree with what you said. – But this is why I say I
agree with him when I say everything is necessary
because that is exactly right. I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to see the trauma, but also there are people on the street in Chicago and New Orleans
and inner-city Houston, that’ve seen people killed that feel like their
experience is invisible, and they’re like, I didn’t want to see so-and-so get killed on the block. – I agree with that too But then they see stuff happening
and they feel validated. They’re like, that happened to
so-and-so just the other day, and now people know the
pain that I’m experiencing, and I think it’s more
important, obviously, for white America to see that, you know. – The validation is huge, like you don’t, nobody wants to see it, there’s reasons why, though. You don’t want to see it
because this bothers me and it’s annoying or
I don’t want to see it because it makes me then
have to respond to it, right? Either way, nobody, even the people, activists, I’m sure, you don’t want to see it,
– Hell no. – you know what I’m
saying, but when it’s seen, now it requires a response. No matter what you feel (chuckles), we’ve gotta respond to this now, and so, for everybody who’s thinking, “Oh,” like you said, “that’s fake. That’s not real, that ain’t happening. He probably did something.” “Look at this.” Now that person has to
silence themselves to say– – But I feel like after a hundred video, after the hundredth video, it’s like (beep), I done had enough proof! (panelists chuckle) This is enough! Or no matter who the
(beep), I gotta talk to, stop retweeting this (beep),
it shouldn’t be allowed on Twitter.
– I love it. – Shouldn’t be on the
Gram no more, I’m sorry. Yes, it’s important for the
people to see this, yes. White America needs to see this (beep). – Mm-hmm.
– They do. – But they’ve been seeing these (beep), they’ve been seeing it. They see it, bro, they (beep)
– This is new for them. – Bro, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean, I’m not. I’m sorry. (laughter) – Say what you’re gonna say. – But I feel like,
– They get it. – people, like, some people,
you know how you like you got selective memory,
you remember what you want. White America, they see what they want. They see this, they see this
(beep), they’ just like, look, I don’t wanna, you
know what I’m saying. They put their blinders on to say (beep). You know what I mean? They see it. – There were also people who
saw the Philando Castile video who were like, well. – One hundred percent. – You know he still probably did sell. – One hundred percent.
– He shouldn’t have done that. But I agree though. – This is great, this is
playing out law versus emotion. These emotions are going, now, what are we going to do with it? – This your (beep) right here. – That’s my space I live in. Okay, we can get the people stirred up. They’re ready to roll, now what? – Yeah.
– Mm-hmm. – How are we going to change the law is the main thing, to me, Is just my personal opinion. Now, how do we do this? How do we change the laws
to make it more effective for these emotions to be appeased because it has validity
for these emotions. – Think about growing
up like that and knowing that there’s all this stuff
happening and experiencing it, but having an inkling
because of white people and what you see on TV
and how the representation and the types of stories
that are out there, that maybe it is just me. Maybe I’m imagining this stuff, and I’m just making it about race, and de-te-de-de-de, you know what I mean? But then when you have these videos and all that, it, yeah.
– Identifying, I’m just, I mean I agree
completely, you know. I still just think it should
be a little more controlled. – I agree, listen. – How does everyone on this table. How do you guys deal with anxiety, stress, trauma, different things like that. Are there things you can do to escape it, let yourself go a little bit? Personally for me, I sew. I made this top that
I’m wearing right now. – Oh cool.
– It chills me out. Thank you! – It was an old granny
sweater from the thrift store, and I took it, cut it apart,
made something out of it. And that–
– Ain’t granny no more. – I know. (laughter) – Or it might be, it might be. – It might be. (laughter) – Y’all are crazy. (laughter) – But that’s, that’s how I deal with it is just creating things,
just manifesting something, and like making it my own. So, I’m curious how you guys deal with it. How do you guys chill yourselves out? – I feel like music is for me, personally, the biggest like therapy that I have like, yeah, like I definitely
have like social anxiety. I’ll just be like weird, like when y’all came up
here I’m on my phone, ’cause I’m just like,
you know what I’m saying, ’cause I’m just like a little weird, but for me, kind of just
keeping my blinders on to like all these things
that really stress me out, trying to keep them on and just music. Make music, listen to it, all of that. – I found a new therapist this week so that’s one thing. And I think more than anything, being a part of the solution is highly helpful for me, just making sure that, you know, I see these problems in the world. You can’t fix all of ’em,
but I would suggest people pick the thing that they’re
most passionate about and be a part of the solution. My activism helps me a lot. It also stresses me
out, I’m not gonna lie, it’s stressful, I think that
I can go about it two ways. I’m gonna live a stressful life. I could either be a part of the solution, or feel helpless and do nothing, right? I feel like there’s a
catharsis and a healing in being a part of the solution. – So for me it’s twofold. Definitely agree with the music thing, ’cause I literally have like playlists based on emotion,
– Yeah, it’s like. – So I’ll be like,
that’s my happy playlist, this is my depressed playlist so, you know, right.
– Put you in that dark mood. – Who’s on your happy playlist? – Uh, Janelle Monae.
– Okay, all right. My sad playlist, you know, took me back to my little teen angst
days, My Chemical Romance, (laughs)
All-American Rejects, – Linkin Park.
– Linkin Park! – That’s me still today. – So, I write, but
that’s a weird thing too ’cause I also write for
work, but also, you know, when it’s not work it’s fan fiction. I like to escape and, you know create different things in
other people’s world sometimes. The other thing I would add for me is that I also use social media to, as problematic as social media can be, to talk about mental
health issues publicly, ’cause I feel like people
feel pressured to not. The stigma’s still there, even in 2019. People are like, if you’re put together you can’t have this thing. And I tell people all
the time, you know look, there are days when I wake up
and I’m just like, “(beep), why’d I wake up,” I get
mad, I’m like oh no. I’m honest about that. I feel like, you know, part of, especially for our age
group, getting to a point where we can get to a place of healing. You gotta talk about it. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – I just make it a point
to be like, hey, look, I’m not good 100% of the
time and that’s, that’s okay. – Yeah.
– Mm-hmm. – For myself, I’m an autodidact. I love learning in an unorthodox way. I learn stuff, that’s therapeutic to me. Picked up the guitar,
learned how to play that. One off-season I learned how
to do a bunch of magic tricks. Next off-season learned
how to write fluently with the opposite hand. The next off-season I’m
picking up archery, poetry, I always just learn stuff,
that’s therapeutic to me, to figure out something
I have no idea about. Learn how to dance, writing
books, super creative. – You’re ‘Dancing with the Stars’ champ. – (snaps fingers) Heyyyyy. (laughter) That was one of the
most therapeutic things I’ve ever done.
– That’s crazy. – Growin’ up, if a dude told
me, “I’m about to go dance,” we’re like, man, get outta here, what’s wrong with you, goin’ to dance. I’ve actually brought ballroom dance back to my hometown. – Wow.
– Nice. – In an African community
you look like this, you don’t think dance, it’s
like it’s corny, it’s soft. I love it. – Well, I wanted to thank you guys for having this conversation with me. I know that it was hard and we have various
opinions and perspectives, but I think we really shed light on some really important
conversations here. So thank you for giving me your time, thank you for giving MTV your time. – Appreciate you for having us. We’re the rock stars. – Vibe!



  • aAAAaa hHh¡!


  • TayBlr


  • Wednesday La Rocha

    Kat + MTV. That’s a good look

  • Chell Lopez


  • Allison Marie

    Kat did such an amazing job, we need her on more!!!!!

  • Mya Baker

    Kodie 😗

  • Jade M

    I loved this so much! Especially the girl on the far right!!! I clicked for Kat and stayed for her. Kat was amazing and professional as always and did a great job at coordinating the conversation. I love how the convo progressed instead of being circular.

  • Tamia

    This was a really good convo. Thank you 🙏🏽

  • Crazy Boyfriendz

    Mental health is a huge unaddressed issue in the black community. Here in NYC, a massive portion of the homeless population are black men with clear mental health issues. So a lot of us are not getting help early on..

  • Ms. K

    Think she has her hair that way to get attention lol

  • dodaengs

    my baby kodie ! this was amazing

  • Abbie Robinson

    I love this

  • Dove Cameron

    I love 💕 KAT So Much Pls Like My Comment😍❤️💕😘

  • Mounia O'Neal

    Clarkisha is soooo smart !

  • Ruffey

    The emotional maturity level in Black communities as a whole is pretty low. Social media has broken that levy and I think self awareness of these issues is going up. Millennials and beyond will be the answer I think.

  • Humble Wiz


  • clay bby

    fuck yea kat!!!!


    Since I have been Iyanla I have learned
    That a lot of Black
    People have
    Trauma from past
    Incidents like rape'
    Incest, molestation!
    Physical and emotional abuse!.
    I did not know this!.
    The behavior does
    Not match the situation!. Mad all the
    Time! Jumping to conclusions! Jelous!
    Leary of people! Guarding their heart!
    Not open to love and to be loved!.


    It manifested itself
    In my hair!. I don't
    Try to correct it
    Or place boundaries
    Upon it!. I let it be free
    To express itself and
    And whichever way
    The wind blows it
    It is cool because
    It is doing it's Thang!.
    Ya feel me!.

  • Josh O

    Kodie with the glow

  • Ruffey

    I'll be honest, I hate that 'Black bodies' term, 30:00. It's used when discussing how white supremacy operates against Black people, how people are used in service of it. I think it re-inforces the perception of Black people as chattel, which we were forced into then, and we're not anymore. Say bodies if you're talking about things happening to people's individual bodies, or bodily rights, but I think people is more humane and appropriate.

  • Ruffey

    Kodie popped off a little bit, 34:20, I love it 😂

  • Something Orother

    there is a disproportionate amount of violence in the black community which is not being addressed by its members

  • JaiProdz

    Yessss Kat! This was a great panel!

  • Kimberly S.

    here for kodie 😍

  • Josie Alexander

    So happy to see Kat on MTV 💕

  • Nya

    Kodieeeee💕 beautiful interview 💫

  • Z Colin.

    kat was such a great host. would love to see her in more positions like this. its like she was born to do it

  • A.X. Unknown

    Please please please have Kat again! Have everyone over again please OMGGGG pls do more this was leaving me speechless within a few minutes. I'm sure that whoever edited this is wonderful but idk if it's possible for an unedited version or vodcast version of this to come out too?

  • AdrinaJohnson

    Yes Kat I love her, she needs to do more television.

  • Mei -mei

    I would’ve outed myself but this was still nice

  • ShaiTheBasedGoddess

    Kodieeeee 💖💖💖

  • Tinu Abayomi-Paul

    "They think you need discipline, they think you need church, they think you need some love and community around you" preach. I'd like to be well please kay thanks byeee.

  • Ruffey

    34:35, I disagree with Kendrick when he says that [seeing graphic images of unarmed Black people getting shot by police] is "new for [white America]". There are so many photos of hundreds of white people standing around the corpse of a lynched Black person set on fire, grinning their heads off. Some of 'white America' used to watch this stuff for sport. They probably do the same today.

  • The Way In

    This was a great panel. Clicked for Kat but super glad to see Kodie Shane. Stayed for the great conversation.

  • thecrookedfingerkid


  • charles Mccoy-williams

    This bitch talking bout she got PTSD but was born n raised in the rich suburbs

  • Asia Mcsween

    Kodie😍she snapped

  • Hawgrydr B

    That's a real roundtable on mental health 🥺

  • Rocío Mier

    Im not black or even American, I live in mexico but I still find this conversation so fascinating and enlightening

  • John Deladurantaye

    poor babies

  • Chaz Bachman

    Clarkisha and Kat 😍😍

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