Maybe I Don't Belong Here: A Memoir of Race, Identity, Breakdown and Recovery

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Maybe I Don't Belong Here: A Memoir of Race, Identity, Breakdown and Recovery

Maybe I Don't Belong Here: A Memoir of Race, Identity, Breakdown and Recovery

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David Harewood's brutally honest account of his experiences in the mental health system should force us all to examine the impact that our past has on our lives. So the first of those is, you spoke about how, in your younger years, as you were starting out, the reviews would refer to you as a black actor. And look, I notice not just here in Britain but also in America, this desire in certain sections of the population to sort of tamp down any discussion of history.

Since his character was revealed (in the episode Human for a Day) to be J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter posing as Henshaw, he portrays J'onn J'onzz with Henshaw's likeness as his human form and has a dual recurring role as the real Hank Henshaw / Cyborg Superman. I learnt more about society from this book - and many others covering the same theme - than I could hope to from a training course.

Brutally honest, brave and enlightening, David Harewood's memoir and account of his breakdown is a fascinating read. And I think that speaks to just how much mental pressure there is on most black people everyday, sometimes without us even knowing. And I think that's Increasingly going to be a problem, because when you don't talk about it, that's when people feel even more marginalised. Photograph: Courtesy of David Harewood View image in fullscreen David Harewood (centre right) with sister, Sandra, and brothers, Roger and Paul, circa 1969-70. David's compelling story poses the question: Is it possible to be Black and British and feel welcome and whole?

His acting career is fascinating and although I didn't always follow who he was acting for or all of the people he worked with I honestly felt like I got to know him in this book and what an absolute pleasure it was. In the book you spoke about feeling a sense of not belonging in the white space, but also that when you moved out of Birmingham and to London, out of drama school, you also felt that a little bit in the Black space. As somebody who has suffered from psychosis and been an inpatient in psychiatric hospitals I related to so much of what David says but I am fully aware that our experiences are different due to my white privilege. I'm amazed the amount of young kids who say to me, "Oh, I watched you when I was at school, and now I'm an actor, and thank you. Thank you, David, for giving us this book - the black men and women, those hoping to be white allies, those who just happened across it.Psychosis and Me, a documentary hosted and produced by Harewood received a BAFTA Television Award nominated for Single Documentary. A successful Black British actor David Harewood also had a mental breakdown and suffered from psychosis. The reason the book isn’t as heavier read as I thought is there are so many lighter and funny moments.

It is so refreshing but also hard to read his experiences of psychosis and the UK mental health system. Strange to be doing it all on Zoom again, it would be nice to be sitting down somewhere drinking alcohol but it's good.The love and care shown by his friends and above all by his mother protect him and nurture his recovery. He shares insights from his recovery after an experience of psychosis and uncovers devastating family history. He was the first black actor to play the title role in Othello – making history at the National Theatre in 1997. PRESENTED DOCUMENTARIES FOR THE BBC 'WILL BRITAIN EVER HAVE A BLACK PRIME MINISTER, WHY IS COVID KILLING PEOPLE OF COLOUR.



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