If you’re a black person in America, you’ve had a particularly excruciating year.
So asserts a group at Harvard University
Fortunately, they’ve come across a cure.
And the Ivy League school is happy to help.
Harvard’s Culture Lab Innovation Fund recently awarded more than a dozen “diversity and inclusion” grants to on-campus initiatives aimed to fix society’s flukes.
As relayed by The College Fix, one of those heralded recipients is the “Healing Attempt.”
The project — headed by clinical psychology PhD candidate (and Ford Foundation Fellow) Grant Jones — is meant to relieve people who aren’t white.
In a promotional video, grant-receiving Grant lays out the project’s approach:
“I want to tell you about an effort I’m making with some friends and mentors of mine to use music and mindfulness to reduce stress and anxiety within the black Harvard community.”
The student claims there’s been a recent “upwelling of police brutality.”
Resultantly, he and other black people have “had to mourn far too many of [their] kin, well before their time.”
Furthermore, systemic racism oppresses black Americans.
Combined with a global pandemic, it’s a recipe for rigor:
“[W]e’ve had to disproportionately and incessantly mourn countless more — all while in quarantine and away from our traditional sources of support.”
“Let’s be honest — the past year’s been excruciating for the black community.”
“Black America is beyond stressed and anxious,” he notes.
And lest you assume elite college students can catch a break:
“That story is no less true here at Harvard, where black students are at the greatest risk of generalized anxiety disorder.”
They also, he explains, “suffer disproportionately from imposter syndrome and largely don’t access mental health resources due to a dearth of cultural relevant options.”
From Psychology Today:
People who struggle with imposter syndrome believe that they are undeserving of their achievements and the high esteem in which they are, in fact, generally held.
Back to Grant:
“Black Harvard needs mental health support. Urgently.”
Hence, he’s configured a correction: a sound recording of all-new student-created music, which can “be infused with black diasporic elements to ensure cultural relevance.”
Such will “support [black people’s] wellness and flourishing.”
The impending album to rehabilitate Harvard’s darker denizens will last “one to two” hours and feature jams by 15 student musicians and writers who are any race but white.
The endeavor will be informed by Grammy-winning Professor Esperanza Spalding, as well as Harvard Divinity alumnus Lama Rod Owens — “an internationally-renowned antiracist meditation teacher and a best-selling author on issues related to race, identity, and meditation.”
“We couldn’t be in better hands,” Grant assures.
Per team members spotlighted in the video, a test is upcoming.
The crew will “recruit 15 members of the Black Harvard community with elevated levels of stress and anxiety.”
“[W]e will disseminate the intervention. We will publish our results in the scientific literature, release Healing Attempt on major streaming platforms, create a website detailing our initiative and highlighting all contributors, and lastly, generate press coverage to get the word out about Healing Attempt.”
It’s all about community:
“Healing Attempt means having mental health support at Harvard that is for us and by us — the black community.”
Plus wisdom and limitlessness:
“It means centering our art, our ancestral wisdom, and our voices. What is truly special about Healing Attempt is that it has no limits. It can be used to support black people across America and around the world. We’re creating a model of healing that can be adapted to support the mental health of so many diverse communities the world over. So support the celebration of blackness — this effort in music and mindfulness. And we’ll show you how powerful Black Harvard is when we’re invited to be fully present.”
The best I can tell, the idea is this: A group of students will write and record songs which, by nature of disallowing any white people to take part, will alleviate the stress of any people who aren’t white who hear it.
It’s an interesting idea — if only one white person were to be involved, presumably, the music would lose all its medicinal mojo.
Somehow, I suppose, nonwhite listeners would just know.
Could they simply listen to black people’s music that’s already been made?
Perhaps so, but then no one gets to make a record.
And they could crank out diasporic ditties without otherworldly intent, but then they wouldn’t get a grant.
The amount of financial assistance, incidentally, is likely large.
From The Harvard Crimson:
Started in 2019 as a joint initiative between the Office of the President and the University’s Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, the Innovation Fund awards grants of up to $15,000 for initiatives that “advance a culture of belonging” on campus, per OEDIB’s website.
Good luck to the gang on making their music.
But one more sizable question might be said to remain: How can stress be so extreme that it’s “excruciating” yet so minimal that a good song can show it who’s boss?
Either way, Harvard isn’t the first place to figure unfathomable anxiety can be remedied by mild means.
Consider the solution conceived by a college in Philadelphia:
University Teaches Pulverized Pupils to Rumble With Racism – by Taking Naps
— RedState (@RedState) February 28, 2021
May everyone at both schools enjoy some triumphant tunes before curling up for a cozy catnap — with no excruciating suffering to be had.
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