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Courtney B. Vance & Dr. Robin L. Smith: "The Invisible Ache" **SOLD OUT**


Early in his career, actor Courtney B. Vance lost his father to suicide. Recently, he lost his godson to the same fate. Still, as mental health discourse hits the mainstream, it leaves the most vulnerable out of the conversation: Black men.
In America, we teach that strength means holding back tears and shaming your own feelings. In the Black community, these pressures are especially poignant. Poor mental health outcomes– including diagnoses of depression and anxiety, reliance on prescription drugs, and suicide– have skyrocketed in the past decade. Institutionalized racism, microagressions, and stress caused by socioeconomic factors have led Black individuals to face worse mental health outcomes than any other demographic.
In  this book, Courtney B. Vance seeks to change this trajectory. Along with professional expertise from famed psychologist Dr. Robin Smith (popularly known as “Dr. Robin”), Courtney B. Vance explores issues of grief, relationships, identity, and race through the telling of his own most formative experiences. Together, Courtney and Dr. Robin provide a guide for Black men navigating life’s ups and downs, reclaiming  mental well-being, and examining  broken pieces to find whole, full-hearted living. Self-care is an act of revolution. It’s time to revolutionize mental health in the Black community.

About the Authors: 

Courtney B. Vance is an award-winning actor on stage, on film and in television. His credits include historically noteworthy films such as Hamburger Hill, The Hunt for Red October, The Preacher’s Wife, and The Adventures of Huck Finn. Courtney’s portrayal of Johnnie Cochran in FX’s The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, of “Uncle George” in HBO’s Lovecraft Country, and of Rev. C.L. Franklin in NatGeo’s Genius: Aretha have earned him two EMMYs, a Critics Choice Award, a Black Reel TV Award, and multiple NAACP Image Awards, as well as SAG, Golden Globe, and Hollywood Critics Association nominations. He won a Tony Award for his performance in Broadway’s Lucky Guy. He is co-founder of Bassett Vance Productions with his wife, Angela Bassett.

​​​​​​Dr. Robin L. Smith is the bestselling author of Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages, as well as Hungry: The Truth About Being Full, a sought-after speaker, experienced media personality, ordained minister, and host of SiriusXM’s The Dr. Robin Show, who addresses today’s most pressing societal challenges through fearless truth-telling. As a licensed psychologist and mental health champion known for her signature four-step prescription Wake Up! Show Up! Grow Up! Rise Up!™, she brings a uniquely healing perspective to our nation’s most daunting social justice and mental health issues: from systemic racism and racial violence, to grief and loss, to discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, to recovering and rebounding as a nation following crises. She holds a PhD in counseling psychology from Temple University and a master’s degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Program Information: 

  • Doors will open to registered attendees at 6 pm. 
  • Seating for registered attendees in Central Hall is first come, first served. 
  • All registered in-person attendees will receive a free copy of the book. 
  • There will not be a book signing following the program. 
  • Free parking vouchers are available to program attendees who park at the Franklin Street Garage (15 W. Franklin Street) after 4pm.  Ask Pratt event staff for your parking voucher prior to or after the program. 

Virtual Meeting Information

There is no registration required for virtual attendance, simply visit the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Facebook or Youtube page. 

Tuesday, November 7 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Central Library, Central Hall
400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Event Type

Book Discussions, Writers LIVE!

Age Group


Compass Category

Writers LIVE at the Library

Event Publisher

Cleve Corner, Manager of Speaker & Author Engagement

Digital Signage




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