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Bebe Moore Campbell

"While everyone - all colors - everyone is affected by stigma - no one wants to say 'I'm not in control of my mind.' No one wants to say, 'The person I love is not in control of [their] mind.'

But people of color really don't want to say it because we already feel stigmatized by virtue of skin color or eye shape or accent and we don't want any more reasons for anyone to say, 'You're not good enough.'"

-Bebe Moore Campbell

Bebe Moore Campbell was an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities.

 

The establishment of the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Bebe Moore Campbell struggled to support her daughter who battled with mental illness and a system that prevented her daughter from getting help and support.

She founded NAMI-Inglewood in a predominantly Black neighborhood to create a space that was safe for Black people to talk about mental health concerns.

Throughout her time as an advocate, Campbell made her way to DC. On June 2, 2008, Congress formally recognized Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the US.

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Who was Bebe Moore Campbell? Bebe Moore Campbell was an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities.

The establishment of Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month - Bebe Moore Campbell sought to highlight and change the systemic and structural deficits of the mental health system that prevented care for people living with mental health conditions. She, along with a group of dynamic mothers founded NAMI Inglewood, now NAMI Urban Los Angeles in a predominantly Black and brown neighborhood to support and advocate for radical change to the LA county system of mental health care.

People and langage evolve, and MHA has chosen to remove the word minority. Instead, we use BIPOC that we believe more fairly honors and distinguishes experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

The continued use of mintority or marginalized sets up BIPOC communities in terms of their quantity instead of their quality and removes their personhood.

By including Black and Indigenous in addition to People of Color, we are honoring the unique experience of Black and Indigenous individuals and their communities, as well as the spectrum of existence and experience of POC.

Books written by Bebe Moore Campbell that you should read: with pictures of 6 book covers

Learn more about BIPOC Mental Health Month at mhanational.org/july

MHA Blog- A Pioneer Of Equitable Mental Health: Honoring Bebe Moore Campbell

Literary Work of Bebe Moore Campbell

Novels

  • Your Blues Ain't Like Mine (1992)
  • Brothers and Sisters (1994)
  • Singing in the Comeback Choir (1998)
  • What You Owe Me (2001)
  • 72 Hour Hold (2005)

Children's Books

  • Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry (2003)
  • Stompin' at the Savoy (2006)

Non-Fiction Books

  • Successful Women, Angry Men: Backlash in the Two-Career Marriage (1986)
  • Sweet Summer: Growing Up With and Without My Dad (1989)

Selected Articles and Essays

  • "Staying in the Community" (1989)
  • "Daddy's Girl" (1992)
  • "Remember the 60's?" (1992)
  • "Brothers and Sisters" (1993)
  • "I Felt Rage — Then Fear" (1993)
  • "Only Men Can Prevent Spousal Abuse" (1994)
  • "Coming Together: Can We See Beyond the Color of Our Skin?" (1995)
  • "The Boy in the River" (1999)
  • "Poor Health of African Americans" (2000)

More Resources on Bebe Moore Campbell

African American Literature Book Club: Bebe Moore Campbell
Bebe Moore Campbell: 72 Hour Hold (video)
Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (video)
Bebe Moore Campbell and the History of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (video)
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