Michael B. Jordan has had quite an amazing year since his groundbreaking role as Killmonger in the academy award winning film Black Panther. The success from the Marvel film catapulted Jordan’s career to new heights. After Black Panther, Jordan went on co-produce and star in a futuristic action-packed film, Fahrenheit 451, loosely based upon the Ray Bradbury novel, encapsulating themes of anti-intellectualism. After Fahrenheit 451, Jordan went on to star in the highly anticipated sequel, Creed 2, which grossed over 100 million at the box office.
But Jordan’s newfound fame and success has a downside as well, leaving the actor mentally drained and exhausted after wrapping up Black Panther. In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jordan is very transparent about the mental health challenges he faced when he had to psychologically transport himself into the dark and lonely world of the infamous villain, Killmonger. Jordan says, “I was by myself, isolating myself … I spent a lot of time alone….I figured….his childhood growing up was pretty lonely. He didn’t have a lot of people he could talk to….” The actor also mentioned that he didn’t really have an escape plan, Erik’s psyche continued to haunt Jordan after he finished filming. Jordan opens up about the depression he felt and the challenges he faced while he tried to adjust back into his regular everyday life. Jordan revealed, “I started talking to people, starting unpacking a little bit.”
Jordan’s bravery and transparency are admirable and rare, which inadvertently sheds light on the mental health stigma that exists within the black community. For generations, it has been normalized for the black community to encourage one another to pray away painful and traumatic experiences–including depression. He also dismantles the problematic notion that therapy threatens masculinity, Jordan says, “As a man you get a lot of slack for it … I don’t really subscribe to that. Everyone needs to unpack and talk”. Mental health matters. It isn’t normal or healthy to be continuously depressed or angry and suffer in silence. Introspection is key. You have to notice that there is something wrong in the first place. Always open up to a loved one or a close friend just so you don’t feel so alone. Therapy is crucial because it helps us heal from traumatic experiences and holds up a mirror to our toxic behaviors which only perpetuate mental health challenges.