On Making It to Tomorrow

Andre Henry
4 min readFeb 24, 2024

Contending with political depression and the start of something new.

For some of us, consciousness is a burden. I’ve found it to be cumbersome for most of my life.

When my mother passed, a handful of high school friends came to sit with me in my childhood home in Stone Mountain. After they gave their condolences and reminisced on her impact on their lives, we moved to the den. I sat and curled my legs under me.

“Wow,” one chuckled.


“That’s exactly the way you used to sit in high school!”

The rest of the group laughed.

“Yeah. I’m pretty much the same person I was then,” I said.

“I hope not,” said another friend. “You used to just sit at your desk with your head in your hands and cry. Every day.”

She wasn’t exaggerating. I can’t explain why — though I have ideas — but in middle school and high school, I would sit in the back of class, with my face on my desk in a puddle of tears.

I had also been a sad child. By the age of 9, my mother was already worried that I’d hurt myself. So, she took me to see a psychologist. Unpacking that experience will have to wait for another time.

I’m not writing this to vent about my childhood woes. I’m writing this to set the context for a journey we’re about to embark on — should you choose to join me.

I share these stories so you understand that, for most of my life, making it to tomorrow hasn’t been a given. At first, I’m sure my melancholy had to do with genetics. But life in a Black body, in an anti-Black world, exacerbated melancholy into despair, depression, anxiety, and C-PTSD.

For a long time, I didn’t feel resourced to survive consciousness, let alone to thrive.

One of my childhood friends — one who was actually in the room the day my friends recalled sad little Andre—once said to me that for years she expected to one day get a call that I’d finally gone through with leaving this world at a time of my own choosing.

Honestly, I thought the same as her. I thought a death of despair would be the inevitable end of my story.

But today I feel differently.

Through a series of events I plan to write about soon, I determined to intervene on my own behalf — to divert the trajectory of my life away from what is often the final symptom of depression. Part of that journey has been an intentional quest to find a praxis of resilience that can work for a highly sensitive, politically aware, Black artist and activist.

It would have to be a resilience praxis that avoids the pitfalls of white teachers who tell us to bootstrap and bypass the impact of systemic injustice on Black well-being. It would have to hold resilience and revolution together.

My search for a sense of well-being has taken me around the world: from the shoreline of Redondo Beach to the small Colombian college town of Manizales, to South Africa’s Robben Island prison, and back to Hollywood.

My practice involves writing songs from the lessons I’m learning.

I’m writing this piece to declare my intention to share my journey — its lessons and melodies — hoping it may help others.

It bears saying I am not a mental health professional and nothing I will write moving forward is intended to be health advice. This is a testimony.

I feel “basically okay” most of the time these days —something I never imagined I’d be able to say, but always hoped to experience.

I’m going to share the stories, lessons, and songs that constitute the path that brought me here.

I know these stories, lessons, and songs are important because I hear so many tomorrow-makers saying the same things. We’re exhausted. We’re demoralized. The systems of injustice and oppression are robbing us of the vitality we deserve.

I can’t dismantle these systems. Nor can I heal all the hurting hearts out there like mine. But I can offer you my story — to tell you, that despite oppression, wellness is on the table.

That a new world is still possible.

That it doesn’t have to be this way.

Here’s to making it to tomorrow.



Andre Henry

Best-selling author, award-winning musician, and activist writing about resilience and revolution.