Jaleel Plummer

Mental Health and the Everyday Life of Afro-Caribbeans Living in the UK

My project will focus on how race and racialization impact mental illness trajectories for Afro-Caribbeans living in the United Kingdom. Afro-Caribbeans are 17 times more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. The pathway to a schizophrenic diagnosis for Afro-Caribbeans is often marked by several factors such as physical coercion by the police and stigma within the Afro-Caribbean community. U.S.-based studies have shown that schizophrenia became a Black disease during the Civil Rights Movement. The protesting black man/woman was made into a figure that instilled fear and stigma into the minds of the white majority. This project will, therefore, examine possible correlations between blackness, madness, and gender that shape the lived experiences, subjectivities, and the wellbeing of Afro-Caribbeans. Through ethnography and theoretical engagements in medical anthropology, the experiences of Afro-Caribbeans might be linked to ongoing structural issues such as police violence, institutionalization, drug dependency, and stereotypical notions of Black expressions.