LISTEN to Kendrick’s exclusive episode of ESSENCE Podcast Network’s podcast Yes, Girl! here:
Kendrick Sampson has made his position clear: He is not just a Hollywood heartthrob, and he is not here for the continued mistreatment of Black people. The self-proclaimed storyteller and liberator stopped by the Yes, Girl! podcast to talk about mental health awareness, his critically acclaimed upcoming film Miss Juneteenth and the ways in which Black Americans can organize for a better justice system in America.
In this exclusive, the Insecure star expounds on…
…A TWO-PRONG STRATEGY FOR MANAGING OUR MENTAL HEALTH
“So there are injustices that are outside of our control. And while we’re taking care of ourselves, we have to organize. We have to organize. We have to organize….
…There’s no way to be born in this country as a black person—as a person of color, but especially as a black person, with all the images that we see every day, and the history, and the things that we experience— without having poor mental health as a basis.”
…THE ORIGIN AND BEAUTY OF JUNETEETH
“I know a lot of people in California who don’t celebrate Juneteenth or know what it was. Short version: It’s when the last slaves found out they were free, in Galveston, Texas, about 30 minutes outside of where I grew up. And two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. And we celebrate that— especially in Texas, but it’s like July 4th for Black folks.”
…IMAGINING SOMETHING BETTER THAN CURRENT “JUSTICE” SYSTEMS
“So my thing is, we try to seek justice through these systems that were literally built to harm us. And we try to work. We’re always thinking of solutions in terms of those systems, like, ‘How do we get justice through this system? What are the legal ways that we can get justice through this system?’ But what our ancestors always did was say, ‘If the system is unjust, and the laws are unjust, then sometimes you have to not honor those laws and those systems, if they are literally built to harm you.’ You know?”
“How can we not imagine something better than what’s happening right now?”