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Memphis man writes self-care journal for Black men during pandemic

Dealing with change, grief, or anger is tough. For Brennan Steele, finding a healthy way to release was almost just as hard.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — See a need, fill a need. That’s what one Memphis man is doing with a new book. 

After a year of uncertainty, Brennan Steele needed an outlet to ‘Breathe.’

“I think 2020 hit with a lot of different circumstances,” said Steele. “You had the pandemic. You had the racial unrest with the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. The list goes on throughout the summer, and it was all hitting at once.”

Dealing with change, grief, or anger is tough. For Steele, finding a healthy way to release was almost just as hard.

“At the beginning of COVID, I was looking for self-help books. I just needed something to just jot my own thoughts and feelings down,” said Steele. “There were a couple of books in the market for black men, but most of the things were for White men. They were talking about things that I couldn't relate to. So, that was disheartening.”

So, Steele wrote his own self-care journal to heal and help.

“I prayed when after it published, they knew that it would touch people,” said Steele. “I had a dream that it might reach 1000 people, but it's reached thousands all over the world. I never could have imagined that.”

In a matter of months, the ‘Breathe, Brotha’ Instagram account has more than 1,000 followers. Now, local therapists, educators and social workers are using the tool online an in their own lives, creating a bigger conversation for Black men to speak up, seek help, and breathe.

“It's been cool just to bring everybody together,” said Steele. “But it’s also to shed a light on how this is just one piece of the puzzle and really, like develop and build up strong Black men.”

“Breathe” is available on Amazon and online at Walmart, Barns & Noble, and Books A Million.