The line between wellness and illness seems thick, well drawn, and impermeable. We believe ourselves, and others, to be firmly situated on one side or the other. But that is not true. We all come to realize this about physical illness. We come to realize that eventually it will touch and alter our lives, either through our own direct experience or that of a loved one. So, we begin to learn the language of cancer, of Alzheimer’s, of Parkinson’s. What of mental illness, though? If we, as a society—by that I mean individuals and institutions, educational and otherwise—would come to the same realization with mental illnesses, it would effectively erase the current stigma that encourages silence, breeds shame, and results in so much needless pain and suffering.
Bio: Nana-Ama Danquah is an author, editor, freelance journalist, ghostwriter, public speaker, actress, and teacher. Her groundbreaking memoir, Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression (W.W. Norton & Co.) was hailed by the Washington Post as “A vividly textured flower of a memoir, one of the finest to come along in years.” A native of Ghana, Ms. Danquah is the editor of four anthologies: Becoming American: Personal Essays by First Generation Immigrant Women (Hyperion); Shaking the Tree: New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women (W.W. Norton & Co.); The Black Body (Seven Stories Press); and, Accra Noir, which is forthcoming from Akashic Press as part of their popular noir series.
Co-sponsored by the Advisory Group on Disability Access and Inclusion, Axinn Center for the Humanities, English Department, and Program in American Studies
- Sponsored by:
- Americans with Disabilities Act Office; Axinn Center for the Humanities; American Studies; English & American Literatures