NAACP’s Travel Advisory for Missouri: Getting Lost in Missouri

I too, (Langston Hughes), once got lost in Saint Louis, Missouri in the pouring rain, and when my car got stuck in mud. I walked to the nearest house with my white coat on, and knocked on the door, saying I was a resident, and needed to use a phone. The person handed me their cordless phone, and left me outside on the patio with rain still hitting/beating my face. Ultimately, I am alive to tell the whale of a tale. I am grateful that I could say I am a Doctor who was just lost.

During Surgical Residency, there were many times I felt as the only black woman at social events, that I would be lynched, or put in a boiling vat of “double, double toil and trouble cauldron” of the 3 Stygian Witches in Shakespear’s Macbeth. Surgical Residency was no joke for a black woman who was considered too ethnic/black, with shoulder length locs, and a very deep Jamaican accent when I got very tired.

It was not until I watched, Get Out, by Jordan Peele, that all my thoughts were put into words in a movie. I felt validated and relieved, that my cognitive reality was really the vestiges of slavery in the United States (US). This is also the crux of medical racism in the US, and of course the Flexner Report of 1910, was the nail in the coffin.

Ultimately, everything is NOT about color, but in the US a lot of things are. As a Jamaican of Maroon descent, I have learned to create CockPit Country/Wakanda wherever I go, and that has made all the difference in my life experiences. Go boldly in the directions of your dreams, live the life you’ve imagined, Henry Walden Thoreau.

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