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NY Filmmakers Aim To Address Mental Health Issue Plaguing African American Males

face-of-darknessWhat did Don Cornelius, Michael Jackson, Chris Lighty and Lee Thompson have in common? The short answer: they all lived in darkness. With the recent suicides of friend and actor Thompson and Hampton University alum, Yusuf Neville, filmmakers Squeaky Moore and Kenneth “KT” Nelson decided to take a stand against an issue that has become more prevalent in the African American community, specifically males. Their upcoming documentary, FACE OF DARKNESS, showcases mental health specialists, Terrie Williams and Dr. Jeffrey Gardere, and deals with the rising suicide rates and depression in African American males.

The documentary promo was released Thursday. Moore and Nelson passionately ask the public to help spread the word about the documentary by posting the trailer to websites, social media and distributing to all who have an vested interest in creating a positive and open dialog about depression in the African American community.

 “We are attempting, not only to spread the word about the film, but also to gain support around the world,” said co-producer/director Nelson.


FACE OF DARKNESS documents the experience of depression affecting the African American community over the last decade, and even more, explores the growing epidemic of suicide amongst its male population. The film also minimizes the stigma, exposes the aftermath of when depression is not treated.

According to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, depression is an illness that affects more than 14 million Americans every year-black, white, young, and old. Despite these statistics, African Americans seek help for depression far less often than whites.

 “As an African American male, I was taught that a man could not express his feelings and never to cry,” said Nelson. “There is a stigma in my community that prevents males from sharing emotions, hugging or admitting that we are afraid.”

As a filmmaker, Moore’s objective has always been to create bodies of work that explore current social issues and to produce socially conscious works that address issues specifically in the African American community. She also develops content to invoke discussion for the greater good and provide an outlet for issues that are plaguing African Americans.

“Recently, I learned that a very close relative of mine was having suicidal thoughts,” said Moore. “The last few weeks have been spent seeking the right mental health specialist for him, keeping my phone lines open for instant communication, sending scriptures, uplifting texts, worrying and yes, constant prayer. This is a much needed documentary to get people talking.”

The promo is available via the Face of Darkness website: The public is encouraged to support fundraising efforts, which are detailed on the Face of Darkness campaign page:

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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