Filmmaker and journalist Raquel Cepeda is seeking to combat shocking teen suicide statistics by reconnecting Latina teens with their ancestry in Some Girls documentary.
According to a survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 41.4 percent of Latina teens suffer from depression (compared to 34.4 percent of whites and 31.4 percent of blacks) and are more likely to fantasize about and actually attempt suicide. It was also revealed that New York is the epicenter for teenage depression.
Cepeda, a New York native, was alarmed by these statistics and sought out to better understand the issue. In Some Girls, Cepeda helps four young Latina women – who respectively carry Dominican, Puerto Rican, Central American and South American ancestry – rediscover the rich history of Latinxs via DNA tests and an educational trip to the Dominican Republic because, as she shares with Latina magazine, she believes that a lack of representation in society is what leads these teens to extreme measures.
“When young people don’t see themselves represented in the narrative of North American history, when they don’t see that they, too, descend from men and women who were healthy contributors to society, they check out,” she says. “They become disengaged. That’s why it’s so important for us to support ethnic studies. But when you look at the national school board, why are they so resistant to ethnic studies, especially when it’s proven to be successful in engaging students of color, including Latinx students? At the same time, they’re rewriting the narratives of the transatlantic slave trade by recasting slaves as immigrants. So what is it? What’s so special about our history that the powers that be keep it away from us? It’s empowering, and you want to keep one group benefitting by keeping others down.”
Watch the teaser for the documentary above. Read full story here.