“American Soul” is BET’s latest scripted offering that chronicles the life of “Soul Train” creator, Don Cornelius and gives fans a closer look at what was really going on behind the scenes when he launched the show that helped shape Black pop culture, especially within music entertainment. With Black folks dancing all around him and Black excellence singing the latest and greatest on stage, it seemed Cornelius was living his dream.

So it was naturally shocking when Cornelius took his own life in 2012.

His untimely death reignited a conversation that the Black community typically avoids: mental health—most recently, the mental health of successful Black men. Since 2012, we’ve made strides in furthering conversations around mental health. Many of us have released the stigma of therapy, shared our own stories of living through depression and become a lot more comfortable speaking openly and honestly about the true state of our mental health in general.

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