BEHIND THE BRAND
Ricardo J. Whyte, M.D.
FOUNDER, Black Therapy
I was born in the Republic of Panama and my roots go back to Jamaica. From Panama we landed in Brooklyn, NY. I grew up in Bedford Stuyvesant. Like many, I watched in horror as Ava Duvernay courageously dramatized the torture suffered by the Central Park 5. I was about their age and so easily could have been victimized by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even scarier is the feeling that any place for us can be the wrong place and any time is the wrong time. Consider Atatiana Jefferson being shot in her home while playing video games with her younger loved one. In many ways their experience mirrors the experience of our community historically in having our legacy stolen.
I recently happened upon a presentation by Dr. Joy DeGruy. Dr. DeGruy painstakingly chronicled how with respect to the black community there has been a failure to acknowledge the wrong, repair the wrong and even provide therapy for the atrocities committed against us. Sadly, some of the atrocities have not even stopped - they continue (as a nation we watched a police officer mistake George Floyd’s windpipe as an adequate place to kneel on for 8 minutes and 46 seconds-thank you Dave Chapelle for making this fact indelible). I became a Psychiatrist. The idea of therapy for a community really struck a nerve with me. I am interested in engineering an initiative that would be a movement aimed at healing my community. I developed the concept of “Black Therapy: The movement to heal the Black Community.” Three messages we plan to feature in our launch inception include “Black Therapy”, “Never Again”, and “Made in God’s Image”. Welcome to a new beginning that is in vigorous pursuit of healing.