Celebrating Black History Month: Black celebrity Carers
Black celebrity caregivers are a group of high-profile individuals who, in addition to their successful careers in entertainment, have also taken on the critical role of caring for loved ones with chronic illnesses or disabilities. These individuals raise awareness about the challenges caregivers face using their platform and influence and the importance of self-care and support for those in caregiving roles.
The prominent singer and actress with a five-octave vocal range has been open about her experience as a caregiver for her brother Morgan, who has schizophrenia. Carey has spoken candidly about the challenges of balancing her career with her role as a caregiver and has been a vocal advocate for mental health awareness and support for caregivers.
Queen Latifah, born Dana Elaine Owens, was a member of the rapper group Ladies Fresh and released her first album, "All Hail the Queen," in 1989. The actress and singer has also been transparent with her experience caring for her mother, who had a heart attack. Latifah has been a vocal advocate for heart health and has used her platform to raise awareness about the importance of self-care for caregivers.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
The actress, singer, and director was one of the Black Theatre Alliance's founding members and the first African American woman to originate the role of Deena Jones in the musical "Dreamgirls." Ralph vocally advocates for the rights of individuals with dementia and their families. She helped destigmatise dementia, alongside other conditions, including HIV and AIDS, through the DIVA foundation. According to her, education and caring for people like her mother have changed her life.
Samuel L Jackson
The actor, who is also an avid golf-lover, has always been a very vocal advocate for the role of caregivers for those with dementia after watching 6 of his family members struggle with the disease. Speaking on his experience with his father, Jackson said, "I don't think anybody should suffer the heartbreak of having someone who has nurtured you, taken care of you and loves you reach a point where they can't even call your name". As a result, he has participated in several campaigns to fund Alzheirmer's research and has even held a fundraiser on Reddit for $100,00.
Ealy, a talented athlete in high school, has emphasised the importance of self-care for caregivers and encouraged others in similar roles to care for themselves and seek help when needed. He has also talked about the importance of being honest regarding caregiving, acknowledging that it's not a one-person job, and accepting help when needed.
The actress and director, who is also a certified scuba diver, has used her platform to raise awareness about the challenges of dementia caregiving and the importance of support for caregivers. For example, Bassett has urged families to discuss long-term care planning after losing her mother to diabetes.
The actress, who has trained in many forms of dance, has been highly vocal about caring for her two sons, who have both been diagnosed with autism. Since then, Campbell has made extreme efforts to educate the public about it, including creating a short film called "Colored in My Mind"
Jada Pinkett Smith
The actress, classically trained as a pianist, has also been transparent about her struggles as a caregiver and the emotional toll it takes on a person. She has emphasised the importance of self-care and support for caregivers and has encouraged others in similar roles to take care of themselves and seek help when needed.
The actor, classically trained in piano as a child, has been candid about his experience providing in-house care for his mother and her physical disabilities. Underwood has described his 2013 show Ironside" as "kind of a tribute to her".
Another notable black celebrity caregiver is the comedian and talk show host Steve Harvey. Harvey, a talented ventriloquist and boxer, has been the primary caregiver for his mother, who has been diagnosed with dementia. Harvey has used his platform to raise awareness about the challenges of dementia caregiving and the importance of support for caregivers.
These examples demonstrate that black celebrity caregivers are using their platform and influence to raise awareness about the challenges faced by caregivers, as well as the importance of self-care and support for those in caregiving roles. They are also working to destigmatise chronic illnesses and disabilities and advocate for the rights of individuals and their families.
However, it is essential to note that while these celebrities have the resources and support that come with their fame and wealth, many caregivers, particularly those in the black community, face additional barriers such as lack of access to healthcare, financial insecurity, and limited support networks. Society must continue to address these disparities and support all caregivers, regardless of their background.
In addition to raising awareness, black celebrity caregivers can use their platform to promote policies and initiatives supporting caregivers and their loved ones. This can include advocating for workplace policies that provide flexibility and accommodations for caregivers and supporting programs and services that offer respite care, financial assistance, and other forms of support.
Whether you a celebrity or not, everyone can play a role in supporting carers and those needing care. An African American carer founded GG Care to help his grandmother living with dementia.
The GG Care Team recognises the difficulties carers face. Through our free service that transforms Amazon Alexa into a virtual care companion, we aim to make life easier for caregivers and those in need of care! Share this post with other carers and feel to recognise the good deed of other black carers by @ing them in the comment section.