Dear Readers,

I’m an artist and have been the intern for Painters on Paintings since 2018. These past few weeks have been incredibly difficult to the point that something as simple as posting my own work on social media doesn’t feel right because it feels like nothing my art says is enough to show how I feel. Right now, I think that one of the biggest issues that isn’t being discussed is the mental toll the last few weeks has taken on black and brown lives. There has been a culture of “getting over the past” that has created unhealthy coping mechanisms in the black/brown community. Many aren’t taking the time to listen to their own needs because there is a revolution to partake in. I thought I would do my part by writing a note about taking care of mental health during this time.

To black folk protesting, organizing, sharing, and surviving:

  • Take a moment to pause and take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Address your wounds. You are human and are allowed to not be okay during times like this. This is traumatic and it is okay to take a break and take care of yourself.
  • Allow yourself to feel. There is a stigma surrounding black and brown people that says we shouldn’t wear our hearts on our sleeves and our anger in our eyes. It comes from years of being told to “get over the past”. Don’t listen. Your anger is justified. Your frustration is justified. Your pain is justified. Allow yourself to process these emotions in a healthy way.
  • Do not isolate yourself. Talk to friends and family. Talk to likeminded people. Surround yourself with as much love and positivity as you can.
  • Take a moment of self-care. Take a walk. Drink water. Do your skincare/ hair routine. Watch your favorite movie. Read your favorite book. Create something beautiful.

To non-poc allies:

  • Take the time to not only educate yourself but educate those around you. The internet is at your disposal. Use it.
  • Be an active ally, even when the protests stop. Continue to volunteer, donate, sign petitions, spread awareness, vote, and protect black lives.
  • Listen. Poc are hurting at the moment so listen to their stories.

A list of mental health resources:

Laura Morillo

Read our Editors’ Note on the Arts Community for Black Lives.