Ohio Nonprofit Helps Black Teens Address Mental Health Challenges Creatively Through Rap Music
"We’re shifting the paradigm—we’re Black men, but we are human first," said the initiative's founder.
February 04, 2022 at 10:09 pm
For Archie Green, rapping was a way of combating the depression, anxiety, and trauma he faced behind closed doors. After recognizing how music can serve as an emotional outlet, Green launched a Cleveland-based nonprofit called Peel Dem Layers Back (PDLB) back in 2016.
PDLB exists to help usher in "a world where Black men and Boys can creatively cope with trauma, positively express emotions and foster community with others through healthy relationships with self, partner, family and protective relationships with the world," and there are various different programs within this nonprofit.
One of these programs is dubbed Cope Dealers, and it's described as "a 10-week comprehensive mental health awareness workshop designed to address areas of mental health impacting the African American males and offering practical ways to cope with daily stressors."
The initiative, funded through outside donors, begins with high school teachers and counselors identifying upper-level students who could benefit from a mental health-focused program. Participants then analyze lyrics that touch on subjects like depression and anxiety before creating their music in a recording studio.