The interest in qualitative research on mental health within Black communities is rapidly growing. However, there are still debates on the conceptualization of depression among the Black community. This paper focuses on the researcher’s experiences as a young Black South African experiencing depression, and their reflections on interpretivist qualitative research focused on the realities of Black South African youth experiencing depression. The paper highlights the importance of reflexivity in a qualitative study and how the topics researched by a Black South African experiencing depression which is still considered a taboo within some parts of the Black community. If a researcher is part of the population, it can be a disadvantage because they hold certain perceptions about this studied phenomenon based on their personal experiences. However, this paper argues that personal experiences and other intersecting social factors are important in research, especially on vulnerable and marginalized groups, to create more critical reflections in qualitative research.


mental health, depression, reflexivity, Black youth research, qualitative research methodology, interpretivism research

Author Bio(s)

Brightness Lesedi Kgatla is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of Johannesburg, where she also obtained her Master of Arts, Bachelor of Arts Honours, and Bachelor of Arts Humanities. She is currently a Lecturer at the University of South Africa, Department of Sociology. Her research interests include depression, mental health, dramaturgy, and social media. Please direct correspondences to brightnesslesedi77@gmail.com.


I wish to acknowledge my supervisors; Prof Ingrid Palmary and Dr Muhammed Suleman for their continuous support in my academic journey.

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