It doesn't take long to realize that Terrie is a both a product and reliable source of the message she shares with the world. In spite of being one of the most powerful publicists in America, she is incredibly sweet, humble and helpful to everyone she meets. I've never really met anyone like her.
One of the topics we hit is depression in the black community. Williams gave her perspective, which focuses on the fact that African Americans are not as willing to talk about the issue as we should be. She also reveals her own battle with depression, which seemed to occur at the peak of her career. Like quite a few black women in America, she was kicking butt and taking names, forcing herself to ignore the pain inside.
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To my surprise, I had a breakthrough while speaking to Terrie. I recalled my own experience as a teenager and my battle with depression as a young person. It was painful to recall, nearly bringing me to tears. I think that after all these years of being liberated from the struggles of my childhood, I'd simply blocked it all out of my psyche. It was an incredibly deep experience for me and very, very moving.
I had to apologize for making the interview shorter than I wanted. I had an appointment across town (during rush hour, in fact) with CNN and I was about 30 minutes late. Terrie Williams is one of the few people I would have waited around to speak with, because I really felt like I could learn from her. I honestly think you'll learn something too.
The interview is below, enjoy!
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and a Scholarship in Action Resident of the Institute for Black Public Policy. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.