The Lives of Men, a Black men’s support group, is making sure that they come together in one room to talk in an open and honest conversation in the aftermath of Kobe Bryant‘s tragic death.
That may sound strange in a society that promotes male masculinity on the pillars of showing little to no emotion. But one can only wonder, what is accomplished when communication, sensitivity, vulnerability, and therapy are not embraced.
For the first time, some men across the world experienced feelings they didn’t think they were capable of. Learning of the death of a global icon Bryant who was killed in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven others on January 26.
For each of us, Bryant may have meant something different. For many Black men, he was their childhood superhero, favorite basketball player, and the king on the court they all wanted to be. Where do we go from here? Do black men mourn in silence, or gear their grief in the right direction?
Jason Rosario, (Founder and Creator, The Lives of Men), is starting a different trend. He’s bringing Black men together to talk about how they feel after losing the icon, the champion in the NBA legend.
“I think that it’s critically important in a world that tells us that as Black and brown men we can’t emote, ” Rosario tells TheGrio. “And that we have to suppress our feelings. I think it’s important not just to become aware of them, but also channel them in a positive way, in a healing way, in a productive way.”
Rosario gathered over 50 men at the ‘The Lives of Men Group Therapy’ event Thursday evening at The Black Gotham Experience. Creating a safe space, to unpack the complex emotions that many men are feeling on the sudden loss of Bryant with the help of licensed professionals.
“I wanted to make sure that we provided an opportunity for our audience to engage with mental health professionals….and I’m no mental health professional. So I want to make sure that the advice and the tools, and the resources that we offer are actionable and they are grounded in some sort of, you know, professional ideology.”
Over the course of the evening, men shared their thoughts and feelings of Bryant. Reliving the moments, they heard the news of the basketball icon’s death. Many attendees tell TheGrio that support groups like this are healing for them.
“This support group allowed me to know that I’m not crazy,” says Leo Newball. “That what I’m feeling is accurate. All the feelings I’m going through, I’m not the only one. It added a relief for me to be able to express how I feel, and not be seen as you’re wrong.”
To learn more about how you can join in on Rosario’s next discussion, visit here.