by Darrien Jones, WFU JD Candidate ’22
I. BLACK BOY
Black Boy has grown up in Over The Rhine, a small stretch of a booming city, Cincinnati. Over the Rhine, or as people call it now, “OTR,” is the “place to be”, the crowd is the youngest it has ever been, the restaurants that now line the streets are all between four and five stars, and the bars that accompany them are known for their local cocktail mixes. The crime has fallen to a minimal level, down from its top 25 ranking in “America’s Most Dangerous Cities,” and you can park without worry as you go to the Reds or Bengals game. Yet, as you come back to your car, you know to go towards Mason or Liberty Township, two of the biggest suburbs where most of OTR’s weekend visitors come from. You would not dare go past “The Wall.” Now, The Wall is not to be confused with a physical wall or any type of fencing. The Wall is where the city’s gentrification has stopped, maybe for only a month or a year as they continue to push Black people out of the area, but for now it has stopped. The construction certainly hasn’t, but the evictions, for some time, have taken respite. The difference between “good OTR” and “bad OTR” is so stark. One minute you are driving past The Eagle and Taste of Belgium, two “staple” expensive restaurants in the city, and drunk white college students and young professionals on paddle pubs. The next minute, you are in a territory of homelessness, dilapidated and vacant buildings, graffiti everywhere, and trash unattended. It is a different city beyond The Wall, and this is where Black Boy lives.
Continue reading “Three Black Stories”
What Do You See?
By: Emily Burke, JD ’18, Wake Forest University
The cold surface pricked my fingers as I stretched my palms flat against the motorized table beneath me. The coolness sent a chill up my spine, stretching up from the very tips of my toes. It was when the chill spread a dull numbness in my ears that I realized how naked, how vulnerable, and how exposed I was.
I was wearing a hospital gown, laying inside a tunnel beneath a thin, white bedsheet. Away from his gaze. And yet, just as I felt the narrow x-ray beams dance across the sheet, I felt his eyes on me. As the beams skipped across my skin, my heart began to race. I closed my eyes. My brow furrowed as my fingertips pushed into the table. I was trying to escape the whiteness, the brightness of the tunnel. Just as I lifted my fingers, the blood rushed and pulsed its way back into my fingertips. I swallowed and realized my jaw was clenched. I knew I couldn’t move my hands, or any part of my body, for that matter. I desperately wanted to massage my jaw, my furrowed brow, my pulsing fingers. Instead, all I could do was lay there. Silently.
Continue reading “What Do You See?”
By: Mary Kate Gladstone, JD Candidate at Wake Forest University School of Law
I still remember the very first day I walked through the doors here. It was much like the first time you do anything, really. There were nerves and excitement and the ever-sobering realization that I would never be able to do that very thing for the very first time ever again. The research center was situated on the outskirts of the city, lifted up on a small hill where it bounced the early morning sunbeams off of its metallic surface and into the eyes of passersby like myself. The first day I drove up to the center, I had to throw my hand up to my eyes to protect from the building’s blinding reflection. Continue reading “What Blinds One Might Blind Another”
Safe Zone in Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine and the Offices of Inclusion and Diversity and Student Inclusion and Diversity at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center cordially invite you to participate on Friday October 6, 2017 in our Wake Up Winston Advocate Day and Open Mic Night featuring Donovan Livingston as MC.
This event will serve as a community celebration of diversity and inclusion and unite advocates and allies. This event will give our community members space to express their experiences and feelings through a variety of artistic expressions AND empower advocates and allies to show their solidarity. We are inviting you to participate in this community event. This is an open mic night with the goal of providing a safe space to both celebrate diversity, inclusion, and equity, as well as engage in constructive dialogue, provide awareness, and connect with each other to rise above experiences of injustice and inequity both in medicine and in the world around us.
Continue reading “Event Promotion: Wake Up Winston – Advocate Day and Open Mic Night”
By: Laura Browder, Associate Attorney at Wyatt Early Harris Wheeler LLP
Celeste was yanked out of a dreamless sleep by a sudden wave of vibrations traveling up her left wrist. Fumbling with the sleek ceramic face of the watch – if it could even be called a watch, with its time-telling ability often overshadowed by its myriad other capabilities – she managed to align her right index finger on the screen with the surgical-like precision that the device seemed to require. The vibrations stopped, only to be replaced by the shrill voice of Isabelle Hall, her crisis-prone assistant. Continue reading “2105: A Designer Baby Odyssey”
By: Mary Taylor Mann, Ph.D. Student at Emory University
In September 2014, Cassandra C. was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In re Cassandra C., 316 Conn. 476, 112 A.3d 158 (2015). For the next two months, multiple pediatric and oncology specialists urged Cassandra and her mother to begin chemotherapy treatment for Cassandra’s cancer. All physicians agreed that, with immediate treatment, Cassandra would have a high likelihood of cure. Without treatment, however, the cancer would inevitably lead to Cassandra’s death. Cassandra and her mother were skeptical of the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments and feared the anticipated harmful side effects of long-term cancer treatments. Cassandra wanted to explore alternative therapy treatments. She did research and learned of other Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients who were successfully treating their cancer with natural therapies. Continue reading “The Keeping of Cancer”
By: Alyea Pierce, Assistant Director at Rutgers University
Alyea Pierce is an author, public speaking and poetry coach, and performer. She is the Assistant Director for Department of Leadership and Experiential Learning at Rutgers University. She describes her purpose with spoken word as one to provide a voice for the unheard – those silenced in some way. In her work, she strives to tell stories as truthfully as possible, whether in describing experiences with race, gender, cancer, autism, or Alzheimer’s. In this TEDx talk in Huntsville, Alabama, Alyea shares a spoken word piece about overcoming the challenges of Alzheimer’s within her family. Continue reading “Pieces of My Memories: A Poem to Alzheimer’s”
By: Alysia Yi, Graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law
Alysia Yi is featured in our Author Spotlight section. You can read her interview about this piece here.
Photo by John Hammond
Part I. The Way It Was
1958, Seoul, South Korea
A woman lay on her bed, silently staring at the ceiling of a tiny master bedroom. She’s wearing a dress, her legs open and stretched out, immobile. Blood stains the old white sheets from the waist down. She looks at least ten years older than her young age of twenty-five, a kind of hard aging that has befallen those who’ve lived through war. The kind of aging that did not draw attention in a country thoroughly afflicted with grief. A single tear falls down her face as she stares blankly into space, her stoicism gratefully masking her sorrow of yet another loved one lost. There was no war to blame for this one though. Continue reading “Without License”
By: Ashley Barton, Student at Wake Forest University School of Law
Photo by Sarah White
Anna swore she would never do it. A proclamation she made when she was fourteen-years-old, sitting in her health class, watching a movie titled “Addiction” on a wheeled-out television stand. Anna’s eyes glossed over the images on the screen, thinking to herself, how could someone do this to themselves? It was easy to judge the teens that appeared on the screen—all from low-income and broken households, clothed in all black, smoking cigarettes on stoops and alleyways—when Anna knew that her life looked nothing like that. That will never be me peeled from her lips with ease. At only fourteen, Anna knew the difference between right and wrong, and addiction strongly fit in the “wrong” box, locked and hidden from sight. Continue reading “The Signs and Story of One in Four”
By: Dustin Hillsley, Associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Photo by Rennett Stowe
The great absurdity of life was that by the time you had the knowledge and wisdom to appreciate it you were already losing it. What was it people said? When you’re born, you’re already dying. But I think knowledge and wisdom were different; unlike knowledge, wisdom didn’t come from the accumulated experience of a long life. Wisdom came from that sense of impending doom, the feeling that your time was running out. It came from watching others take over where you left off, after your limbs lost their youthful vigor and your mind its clarity of thought. It came from giving up your stake in the world. It came from mortality itself.
Continue reading “Without End”