Queen Sugar star Kofi Siriboe is contributing to the discussion of mental health in the Black community with his short film Jump.
Written and directed by Siriboe under his VIAKOFI production banner, Jump also stars Siriboe as Ziggy, "a haunted man, meandering through life after the tragic passing of a loved one." The film was based on Siriboe's experiences following the suicide of his mentor and big brother figure.
Jump is the second short film by Siriboe; earlier this year, he released the short-form documentary WTF is Mental Health?, which explored the mental health of Black millennials and Gen Z'ers. The themes explored in WTF continue in Jump, which portrays a "gentle depiction of apathy without condemnation and emotional crisis without solution." With both of his films, Siriboe hopes to destigmatize attitudes surrounding mental health among African Americans.
“If we don’t admit what’s going on to ourselves, we’re gonna keep hurting in silence, which is killing us twice as much as our Caucasian counterparts," Siriboe said in a statement. “No one's gonna talk about it because it’s taboo. That’s what I wanna end."
Siriboe's films are available on his VIAKOFI YouTube channel; Jump is embedded below.
If you are feel mental distress, please reach out to someone you trust. One option is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat with the lifeline online. Another tool, Your Life Counts, provides a list of coping skills and how to create a plan to keep yourself safe. If you're someone who is worried about a loved one, you can also visit the lifeline online to learn more about warning signs and risk factors.