LETITIA WRIGHT IS A RISING STAR (OBVIOUSLY)
By Awa Gueye
February 11, 2019
Last night, Black Panther‘s Letitia Wright took home the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award for Rising Star, and the meaningful win was accompanied by an earnest speech. Filled with gratitude, Wright took the opportunity to thank her support system and to discuss mental illness. Letitia is a 25 year-old Black woman who has only recently come into the global spotlight. It’s not hard to imagine how nerve-wracking it must have been to stand in a room full of the world’s most celebrated actors (not to mention millions of viewers) to discuss a topic so vulnerable and personal. Whatever fear she may have felt, Wright pushed past it, a paragon for people battling with mental illness everywhere.
Wright’s bravery manifested itself in her honesty. “A few years ago I saw myself in a deep state of depression and I literally wanted to quit acting,” she said. Perhaps she felt a duty to speak directly to the viewers as the award was one voted on by the public. She continued, “The only thing that pulled me out of it was God, my belief, my faith and my family, and an email from BAFTA asking me to become part of the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits.” With some outside encouragement, self love was found, and Wright pulled through. She made it clear that she is a work in progress, that depression is a journey, not automatically solved by the public’s perception of success.
Letitia has had a hell of a year, topped off by this win. She has done more than she’s had to do, using her platform to highlight the intricacies of mental illness from her perspective as Black woman. I’d like to think I can speak for all in sending loads of love and respect to Letitia for sharing and entertaining the shit out of us all year with her talent and emotional depth.