Brooklyn-born actress and comedienne Angelina Spicer said growing up in Brooklyn taught her to hustle, be creative and push forward with new ideas. Since overcoming severe postpartum depression following the birth of daughter Ava, now 7, she has turned her darkest days into humor and used that humor to spark a movement she’s calling The Postpartum Revolution: Advocacy and Education Through Comedy.
Her postpartum struggle became so extreme that her therapist suggested she admit herself to a psychiatric hospital, which she did. As she began her recovery, she turned to her comedy to heal and share her story. Spicer subsequently took the stand-up comedy set she’d crafted and combined it for a documentary film with women and experts speaking about postpartum depression. In April 2019, Mayor Eric Adams, then
Brooklyn borough president, presented her with a proclamation commending her work in speaking about postpartum depression and inspiring other women to be open and seek much-needed treatment.
Last summer, Spicer, the daughter of hip hop innovator Jimmy Spicer, took her pink tour bus on the road for an eight-city advocacy and comedy tour. Playing movie theaters and performance spaces, she screened the documentary and had a question and answer session. She also met with lawmakers in the various cities to discuss legislation.
“The purpose of the tour is to (a) advocate for change, (b) connect moms to care by highlighting local businesses, ob/gyn practices, doulas and midwives, so that moms can have more options for care, and (c) to also start the conversation around what postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety are and to know the warning signs and get people talking and laughing about it,” said Spicer, who will be hitting the road again this summer.
“The goal is to make this a mainstream conversation, so we’ve chosen mainstream venues,” she continued. “We talk about how moms can get care and then we discuss solutions of how we can implement change to get moms more access to care.”
The documentary is about 80% complete, and Spicer is seeking backers to help with completion and distribution. On this year’s Postpartum Revolution Road Trip, Spicer plans to hit seven cities, starting with Peoria, Illinois on June 5. She will shoot additional footage, incorporating comedy, behind the scenes and her meetings with lawmakers.
Additional events are attached to the tour and it has different partners in each city. Last year in Delaware, the tour partnered with Jewish Family Services of Delaware to do a mental health day where she met with local leaders and mothers in the community, who were interviewed for the documentary. The first partner to confirm for the upcoming tour is the Illinois Chapter of Postpartum Support International.
Spicer, a graduate of Howard University, hopes to get the documentary shown on Netflix, Showtime, Hulu or HBO. “We want mainstream conversation and solutions,” she said. “Part of the reason why moms, such as myself, feel blindsided by postpartum depression and anxiety is because we don’t know what it looks like. We don’t know we’re going through it when we’re actually going through it so we can get the resources that we need.”
Spicer now lives in Los Angeles with Ava and husband Joseph, a deputy federal public defender, but Brooklyn is her foundation. She said this city gave her a global perspective and the tenacity to succeed. “I know how to hustle and make it happen for yourself,” she said.
She hopes to bring the tour to NYC this summer. “It’s an opportunity for us to come together and start new initiatives that are going to help families,” she said.
Information is available at AngelinaSpicer.com.