Bebe Moore Campbell sat anxiously in her passenger seat as the driver ripped down the freeway, veering in and out of traffic, laughing and ignoring Ms. Campbell’s desperate pleas to slow down. The man had suffered from mental illness since his youth yet denied what was so apparent to those around him.
BEBE MOORE CAMPBELL FOUGHT TO REMOVE BARRIERS
Mental illness can be hard on everyone. It’s hard on the person who has it, but it’s also hard on that person’s family. As Ms. Campbell often said, no one wants to admit to losing control of their mind. And that includes the family of the person who’s already lost it.
It’s a situation that holds true for everyone, regardless of race or gender, she said, but it’s especially true for minorities.
Why? Stigma, mostly.
“African-Americans and people of color already feel stigmatized by virtue of our race,” said Ms. Campbell. “Therefore, we really don’t want to own up to something else that could be used against us … we don’t want anymore reasons for anyone to say, ‘You’re not good enough.’”