Movies and shows featuring African-American people with mental disorders can seem so taboo and we’re happy that shows ike “Empire” and “black-ish” exist; it’s 2016 now and it’s time we stop living in some post-traumatic fantasy where we (as people of color) do not have illnesses. Get real!
TV One has seemed to have gotten the message as they prepare to shed light on mental health in the Black community during National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month with the premiere of its original movie, “The Secret She Kept,” on Sunday, July 10 at 7 p.m. ET (encore at 9 p.m. ET).
Inspired by the best-selling novel of the same name by NAACP Image Award-winning author ReShonda Tate Billingsley, “The Secret She Kept” immerses viewers in the story of a prominent family that lets shame, confusion and misunderstandings about mental illness send them down a tragic path.
Kyla Pratt stars as beautiful, high-powered attorney Tia Jiles, who has just married the man of her dreams, successful magazine executive Lance Kingston (Gavin Houston), and is on the brink of launching a major political campaign, when a pattern of erratic behavior uncovers her secret: she suffers from mental illness. Tia never revealed to Lance what she and her family, especially her mother Virginia Scroggins Jiles who is played by Kellita Smith, have known since Tia was seventeen – she has an illness that takes over her mind, transforming her into a woman struggling with bi-polar and schizoaffective disorder both privately and publicly. Determined to end the cycle of secrecy, Lance, along with his sister Beverly Kingston (Vanessa A. Williams), set out to convince Tia to resume her medication and enter treatment.
This movie is so out of the norm, I can’t wait to see it! With all the actors and actresses set to star, I can’t wait to check it out this forthcoming weekend.
Who’s tuning in with me?
By Monique C. Tillman