While promoting her new animated film Minions: The Rise of Gru , Taraji P. Henson gave insight into what she wants for her future. Henson is considering life as an expatriate as a means of self-care. On the PEOPLE Everyday Podcast, she conveyed her fatigue at being a Black Woman in America. When asked about how she fares in today’s political climate, Henson shared a desire to live her life outside of the United States:
“I’m really considering getting up out of here, leaving and living in another country,” Henson said. “That’s something that comes with 50, you get tired of fighting. I’m tired.”
Police brutality, witnessed through mass and social media, is leaving a strain on many. Research by Howard University’s Thurgood Marshall Center states, “constant stress of the looming threat of police violence, the actual experience of police violence, and the devastating aftermath of police brutality at a personal (first-or-secondhand) and societal level can have tremendous effects on the mental health of people.” The 51-year-old discussed how being exposed to state-sanctioned violence has left her feeling weary.
“I just don’t want to have to do another hashtag … I fought, I chanted, I marched. I’m tired.” Henson asserted.
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Being “tired” for Henson is more than a physical state of being. Like many people, Henson deals with mental health struggles. The trauma and stress of isolation led to her considering suicide during the height of the pandemic. The isolation and stress were overwhelming for the Hidden Figures actress as reported by MADAMENOIRE:
I purchased a gun . . . I just didn’t care, I felt myself withdrawing, people were calling me, I wasn’t responding … I didn’t care.”
Henson is the founder of the Boris Lawrence Henson foundation, named after her father, who also suffered with mental health illness. As an advocate for mental health awareness, specifically suicide, Henson’s desire to escape is telling. She is painfully aware of how unchecked mental health issues can rob Black people of their joy and lives. Now, she looking for a soft life that we all deserve:
“I want to just be. And be happy. I want to be called ‘Bella’ every day, drink wine and swat flies on the porch. Stress-free.” she told PEOPLE.
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