Ode to Black Mental Health


Using words and music to help heal...

catharsis and black mental health



I decided to write this poem as a finale of a project that is currently in its infancy. Composer and violist Nicole Neely and I are ecstatic about our collaboration to create a Ode to Black Mental Health based on 4 poems/prose I have written: The Repining Tree, Chocolate Flavored PTSD, Ataraxia, and Black Catharsis.

This collaboration will also feature solos by the talented tenor Johnnie Felder and double bassist virtuoso Lauren Pierce.

Black mental health needs a space to be recognized, destigmatized, and amplified. The concert hall is one of those venues for catharsis to flourish. This project will require support from various stakeholders who are dedicated to the mission to help improve the health outcomes of communities of color.

I hope you will join me in this important endeavor.

Black Catharsis

By Frank Clark

Black boy Black prince

Your therapeutic chair summons


Toxic masculinity

Self stigma

Can you see it?

Black girl Black princess

Your therapeutic chair deliquesces



Hair discrimination

Can you taste it?

Black man Black king

Your therapeutic chair manifests




Can you hear it ?

Black woman Black queen

Your therapeutic chair conquers

Superwoman schema

Repressed trauma

Racial gaslighting

Can you feel it?

Black brothers and sisters

Your therapeutic chair pines




Can you smell it?

For more information, including how to get involved and support this project, please email Dr Frank in care of Psychiatric TimesTM at PTEditor@mmhgroup.com.

Dr Clark is an outpatient psychiatrist at Prisma Health-Upstate and clinical associate professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville. He served on the American Psychiatric Association’s Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry, and he currently serves as the Diversity and Inclusion section editor and advisory board member for Psychiatric TimesTM.

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