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Conversation with Dr. Dianna:

Updated: Jul 28, 2022




Dr. Dianna

All right, good evening, everyone. My name is Diana Watkins Dickerson. And I'm your host of teaching preach. These are conversations in the black community. We of course come from a womanness approach, I'm so excited to join you once again. I do apologize for being a little bit tared to the party, but I'm so glad that you're still yet here and working with us. Technology can be a blessing and a burden, but we are here tonight, live with Dr. Annette Madlock. She is an author scholar extraordinaire on her Facebook. It says that she is a believer in a pusher of dreams. I do believe this. She is actually to me, a big sister in the academy, and she is so sweet, so kind and so loving and has gotten me out of several roots. And I thank God for her. She's also a minister. She's a professor.


Dr. Annette

Well, I have to say thank you so much for all the kind words. Those are words that are encouraging to me, uh, because I do believe in, helping, my sisters and my brothers in or out of the academy, just work towards their dream dreams and their visions and, and what they see themselves doing. And so, as an independent scholar, as health, and health activist, I am also an entrepreneur. So I have sister circle writers and that's for academic writing and, other, writing, for those who wanna tell their stories. So if they're, if you're like me, I'm a survivor of medical trauma. And part of my healing process was to write about that. As you can see with the books behind me, those were, that came out of, um, outta necessity and also how to leverage my time in the academy to write about something I wanted to write about.


Dr. Dianna

That's it?


Dr. Annette

Yeah, that's it. And to make it off, value in other places. And so if you need help with that, if you need some encouragement, you need to get a little bit of writing coaching, just come and talk to me. And the doctor is in


Dr. Dianna

Right!


Dr. Annette

And more than one way, if you're writing needs some first aid, this is it, this sister circle writers, that's it. So


Dr. Dianna

We, we got it in the other day. We met together with a bigger group and we had some wonderful, conversation, not just conversation, but conversation, critical analysis we, you know, were pressing each other and challenging each other, you know, because this is Bible, right? That's why it's called preach. That's it preaching and re-reaching. We also know that iron sharpens iron. So when she says that she is one to encourage you, that's what she means, but let's get into this conversation. Now, you all have been hearing about it, about the correspondent. I'm just going, you know, leave him nameless because he doesn't matter. He doesn't count because a lot of times we see within these white supremacist circles, all of this mediocrity, and folk with honorary doctorates who are giving, you know, I guess you have a license, even with an honorary doctorate, right? Just to say whatever you wanna say because of your whiteness, because of your, stance within, as they say, the patriarchy, that was that Dr. Joe Biden, who will now be our new FLOTUS. I say, Dr. FLOTUS. So somebody writes that in the comments, Dr.


Dr. Dianna

He will be our new first lady of the United States of America with her husband, right beside her husband, former vice president, Joe Biden, but now, president elects Biden. So we're very excited about that. She has a resume, hat speaks for itself, but here's the thing she is being criticized about not, having a medical doctorate. Right. And there's a whole history of doctoral degrees. I see you. Why? Aha. That's right. Doctor FLOTUS. You can go ahead and type okay. Doctor FLOTUS let's make that go viral, but she's being criticized right by someone who has an honorary doctorate. Okay. And she's being criticized because, you know, oh, well she just has an ed D so, you know, we don't need to call her doctor there. There's so much packed, not just in, the wall street journal, opened piece. Right. And what the wall street journal is. Right. And, who their audience is. But this has caused a huge stir, not just in, you know, research communities, but distance society in general. And so, Dr. Annette, can you speak to just all of the multi-layered things that are going on, we're gonna try and break them up piece by piece.


Dr. Annette

Well, when you, when you think about higher education and academia, there is this thing with, because even jurors, doctorates, law degrees, should you be, you know, doctor, attorney, what does, but historically there is no doctor in that sense unless they're getting a doctorate in law of law, not just a juror doctorate, but they've gone on further and then yes, educational, doctorates, then the philosophical doctorate and, doctorates of arts and humanities, and there are different layers, but that's because where have you put your intense, study and time and energy into a particular topic. And we know that particularly, as women of color, we are degreed up the left down the right around the back in the front, and still, you walk into a room. There is no acknowledgment of that.


Dr. Annette

And you know for me it's like I won't answer you if you won't say doctor, I won't. And particularly if you've just gone around the room and named every doctor there.


Dr. Dianna

Yeah.


Dr. Annette

But when you get to me, you just wanna call me by my first name. Right. Not gonna happen. I won't answer you now with, students, particularly, African American students, they're not gonna call you by your first name in most cases, but they still wanna say, miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, and trying to, trying to just get, students to understand sometimes that there's a reason its doctor, we worked hard, we studied hard. we have, written forever and ever, and in a day, to earn the letters and of course pay for it, the right education. And so the recognition is, you know, is, earned and deserved. And so there's, a lot of trauma, indignation, and, individuals who just do not wanna recognize our way of knowing and understanding and doing .


Dr. Annette

And so you, you will, you'll run it, you'll run into those things. And this new thing with just professors allowing students too to call you by your first name, there's a line there. And as time has progressed and moved forward, the line is, I'm not your friend, so you don't call me by my first name. Right. And so there, and then with this whole 24/7 perception of availability.


Dr. Dianna

Oh yeah. That,


Dr. Annette

That is added, on top of that. And so there's definitely a lot going on there and just to be able to pull each one of those dynamics apart, we have our community you know, African American, black community, we recognize work and degrees. And so, you know, if you're at church and, and they know you going to school, you doc already,

Dr. Annette Before, you done it's doc okay. It's doc already. And so there's, different places and spaces where they, the hard work is respected and it's not. So even if, like my home church in Minnesota, it is always Dr. Annette. That's where that came from.

Dr. Annette

because there's a sense of, yes that's my family, but they also recognize. And so that's the name they gave me. That's not the name. I selected from myself within, that community. So when I use it here with you, when I use it in sister circle writers, that's because that's my sense of community,


Dr. Dianna

Right.


Dr. Annette

Do you know? Yes. Call me by my first name, but recognize those letters there, because there's some experience, there some expertise that I'm giving you. And that I wanna share with you. And I want you to know because you might not know me, but I need you to know but this is, what you're getting when you engage in conversation with me and we discuss and talk about your work, your ideas, what you wanna do, whatever that might be are you seeing any other, any questions on your side of the chat?


Dr. Dianna

We're waiting on y'all questions because this is a participatory event. Okay Y'all already know, teach and preach is all about conversation. You've got two comm scholars we gonna communicate up in here. Okay. And so, for those of you, that might be new. those of you that are a little bit timid on asking questions, here's the thing. No question is a dumb question. And when we fail to ask our questions, when we fail to engage, and when we fail to, you know, just throw it out there, even if it's just a thought, then we failed to move the conversation along, because what we never want to do is stay in the same place. We never want to stay where we are. We wanna always move forward. And that is the goal of this conversation, but here's something else now, Dr. Annette. you've mentioned, some things that are very important.


Dr. Dianna

I mean, like all these different nuggets and so to pick and pull a few of them out and highlight for our viewers. So, one thing that I heard, we have to realize that Dr. Biden, Dr. Jill Biden is a white woman. And so there are going to be some particular respect, you know, there's a sense of respect that she is automatically afforded due to her whiteness but there is a sense of disrespect that she is still going to be, berated with, due to her femaleness, her femininity, her sexuality. Right. So there's gonna be a particular sort of disrespect. And so I do wanna highlight that, I see a lot of feminists, a lot of black feminist, what are you stop, that are speaking out about this and that this shouldn't even be a conversation.


Dr. Dianna

Right. But it still is in 2020. However, I think what you're also talking to and speaking to as well is there is a particular line in the sand that you don't cross, and you can't cross specifically within the black community. Right. with black women. I am thinking of a book chapter that just came out. I'll be sharing that with you guys it's in an edited volume that I participated in it's the title is basically, please don't call me by my first name. Right. Pretty much than right. As a graduate student, y'all know, I only graduated 10 minutes ago, but you know, even as a graduate student, I'm coming in, I have a whole mortgage. I have a whole husband, I have a whole child. Right. I have a whole car note. I'm grown. Right. I, and then also too, I think being, you know, an experienced veteran, like not just a veteran, I've been in the military for 10 minutes, like I've deployed and served with all of those experiences and all of that authority as an officer, too.


Dr. Dianna

Right. You know, you have 50-plus-year-old men that are saluting you. Not that's you get anything from it. It's that sign of respect. Right. But what you're not gonna do is not respect me in my classroom. Right. However, I remember a student saying to me, you wanted my new aunties and there's a, but we had a relationship, right. There's a particular difference between that auntie's status. Right. And the complexity of that within the black community, but also still that line of respect in the classroom, it's gonna be Watkins Dickerson at that point, or now it's Dr. Watkins Dickerson. Right. Can you kind of pull apart just why it's so important, for that title as a black woman in the black community, but also that distinction, when there is that sense of familiarity, with maybe, it's not your professor, but you know, someone at church or whatever the case may be. Can you kind of pull that apart.


Dr. Annette

When you're, speaking to, to the classroom? for myself, in particular, most of my, teaching has been predominantly white institutions, so when I've had, student black who whether they were from, the Caribbean west Indies or African American or first-generation African there's usually like one or two in a classroom in a whole academic year. If and so there is, there's like an unspoken sense of connection because many times it's like what? There's a black professor.


Dr. Annette

yes. And so there is Def, so there is the sense of pride for that student to actually see someone who looks like them. Right. and that can go two different direction.


Dr. Dianna

Now this is true.


Dr. Annette

It can go two different directions. It could be that sense of pride that says, this is great. I wanna do my best work. I'm gonna take advantage of this because if they're they're planning ahead and they're looking at their courses down the line, they probably will not have another school they're at. And then the other is the same attitude that some of your white students might have is like, how did you get here? Why are you here? You're too hard.


Dr. Dianna

how dare you,


Dr. Annette

How dare, you have expectations and then high expectations for that. Right. And so then, that's another dynamic with that. And so with that, we're calling it throwing shade. Now there will be on purpose, not using your title and they know it and they won't even say, professor


Dr. Annette

An email will come in and will have no salutation. Right. A question will be started without any, excuse me, professor. It'll just, they'll just, it'll just, just start talking because there's no, there's just no, no respect there and not, because of anything that you've done. It's just the fact that visually they're not ready to see you within any authority over them. Right. And so, so that's the thing that happens sometimes. And then you have, as I said before, the other direction with students, it's like, oh my goodness. I have a black professor. I've never, and for some students, they've never had, even in through K 12, they've never even had a black teacher. Right. And so there's a lot to consider when you're looking at this, the role that a title plays in education and then what other people perceive that is about. And then you know, we have people in our community, like they have no clue what we do.


Dr. Dianna

They, they don't, they don't. And,


Dr. Annette

And I, do yeah. I try to explain, I said a K12 teacher, that is a whole different level of a level of patience, a level of knowledge that happens in that classroom to manage all those little bodies, middle school bodies, high school, students just to manage, that. That is a different, it's a different type of skill. It's a different skill set teaching is there, but there's a lot of other stuff that goes with that. So my hats are off to all the K12 I substitute, taught for a little bit. So I know what they're, going through even now and before COVID with that classroom situation is like, particularly in urban schools,


Dr. Dianna

It's very different. And I mean so for those of you that don't know, my husband has an ed D, which is the same degree that Dr. Biden holds and that's a doctorate of education. So let's pull all out here. you know, we have the highest degree that you can get from a university is a doctorate of philosophy. And so that's the Ph.D., and it's a little bit different in the European system. So we'll just work with the American system, right, the general ones that you will see or you'll hear of after the Ph.D., I would say, as far as a tier, I know I might step on some toes here, but it's, you can look it up. It's the highest degree as the Ph.D., after that, I would say, as far as a tear you know, a medical doctorate, you could say that's right there. The difference though, is we have to remember between even a Ph.D. and an ed D because Dennis was talking about stuff, I didn't even know about running statistical stuff you know, Latin, computational thinking, sir, I don't know what you're talking about. I asked him, I said, what's your dissertation about, he said this and that. Oh, okay. That's cute. That's sweet. All right. Do you want some coffee? Do you want a snack? Like my job was to keep D three L because it was his turn to the right.


Dr. Dianna

When my turn came. Right. Because with, a doctor of education, also with a doctorate of theology, you're still doing that original research project. Right. and so with a medical doctorate, you're not really doing original research and you're D certainly not defending it in front of a panel of folks. So there is a huge difference between all of these different degrees, a doctorate of education, obviously you're specializing specifically in educational practice, most times a doctorate of ministry, same thing, ministry practice, is kind of a marriage between the demon and the PhD and at most institutions. and then, you know, Juris, doctorate obviously is the law degree, but you're still, as you pointed out earlier, not call doctor. Here's another thing. and let's go back a little bit to the journalist. I don't wanna give him too much shine.


then, you know, Juris, doctorate obviously is the law degree, but you're still, as you pointed out earlier, not call doctor. Here's another thing. and let's go back a little bit to the journalist. I don't wanna give him too much shine.


Dr. Dianna

But when we have an honorary doctorate, I've been to programs where they award those, and they say, you know, you have all the rights and privileges to use that title, but we do have to be careful. And also, I would say cautious that we don't get ahead of ourselves because the research that you do and you're far ahead of me, you know, she has books. I don't have any, so let's start there. There are books, plural, right? Go back to your ninth-grade English teacher. But beyond that, there's this original research. Can you talk a little bit about the project that not just you had to do for your dissertation, right? but the research, the intense projects that you have to do to get this original research out publishing editing, which we talked about at link reviewer, one is, just horrible, a little bit about that aspect. So the audience really kind of choose on that.


Dr. Annette

So when you're looking at your doctor of pH your philosophy, original research, there's a question that you're asking. And then with that question, how is that going to add to the conversation and particularly for our community, when you're doing that research and delving deep, what is it gonna do for your community once you're done with all that, and so you're looking at that you're, doing surveys and depending on how you do this if you're doing rhetorical work and looking at different types of messaging, you're pulling in some survey data, maybe you're looking at another data set that's comparable to what, you need and what you're looking at. So you're looking to see, okay, health communication. So for instance, for me, I took a few courses in genetics.


Dr. Annette

So when I read, the scholarship by professionals, I know exactly what they're talking about as, it pertains for my community and community health and that sort of thing, not in public health, don't have to be in public health. Right. But I'm looking at that information, I'm reading it and asking questions and doing, research when it comes to black women, breast cancer, cultural influences on our health decisions. what our different aspects of identity bring to our decision making. And then the numbers right. And then the communication scholar, I'm interested in the narrative, the story, right? So I'm pulling together the numbers and the story to give a richer piece of information because we're human beings. We're not just numbers.


Dr. Dianna

Right?


Dr. Annette

Exactly, so when you're looking at that research, you're pulling it together. It has to be, organized. And then you have to remember we're trying to fit into fit our work and the way we think into a system that wasn't designed for us.


Dr. Annette

So when we're talking and explaining and going through these things about what we want to research and spend our time on because remember for some this is years of work. This isn't an overnight thing. It's not even a one-year thing.


Dr. Annette

The first day you walk into your grade classes, you need to have some ideas of what it is you want your dissertation to be about.


Dr. Dianna

Oh yeah.


Dr. Annette

Because every piece of information, every article you read, and every book that you read in every class should be to inform what you want to write about. And of course, we have comprehensive exams and screening exams, so you need to have that up here. So there's a lot, that goes into this process and it is not a joke. I've seen grown men cry.


Dr. Annette

I've seen women cry, grown women cry,


Dr. Dianna

Or drop out


Dr. Annette

Or drop out. There's a lot of A, B D all the dissertation going on, or there's a lot of, I did one year of coursework and I was done


Dr. Annette

so it's, not an easy process


Dr. Dianna

We don't wanna, get on those folks and say like, oh, you know, that's but, we're, we're speaking to how stressful and how intense it.


Dr. Annette

Is Exactly. Dr. Dianna (26:22) so intense.


Dr. Annette

It's it's okay. And you, you know what it might be, you know what? I need to put my health first, It might not be able to do this right now. there's nothing wrong with that.


Dr. Annette

there is nothing wrong with that. Nothing at


Dr. Dianna

.All. There's not. And I mean, and that's viable, right? There's a time and place for everything season under the sun. Right. So we have to be clear in saying that any doctoral program that you have earned, that


Dr. Annette

You've earned


Dr. Annette

Difficult. It is difficult to hard work. If you didn't cry, then you gotta cry around the corner. It's gonna come out somewhere, but don't come out. you might hold that thing within you, in some very, very nasty and very dangerous ways. And as you kind of spoke to that can manifest in your health, which is just a moment we're gonna segue to, but we have a comment and a question says, minister, Washington, cuz I know her she said, it's a sign of respect. So calling people, you know, doctor, Reverend pastor, right? Whatever the title may be. it's a sign of respect. I believe in our culture. Speaking to African American culture we have been taught to give respect right. In my household. I was not allowed to use my parents' first name. No, ma'am, you'll get right up outta you.


Dr. Annette

I tried once at my wedding, I called my mom at the rehearsal. I called her by her first name. My pastor looked at me, I know you just didn't call your mom by her first name. Uh, my aunt and my uncle looked at me, and if my mom had her shoe in her hand,


Dr. Dianna

Oh yeah,


Dr. Annette

I would've been ducking. I was like, oh, won't try that again.


Dr. Dianna

Exact look


Dr. Annette

Won't that.


Dr. Dianna

And I'll joke with my mom and stuff like that. Jerry, like you know, but there's this sense of respect even in that like you know, I'm joking and we have that bond in that relationship. And I think my generation we'll do that, but now when it all gets to all seriousness. Okay. And that's the thing, you know, when to switch, you know, when to switch like, okay, this is not a good time, you know, this is not right. And so to go on further with her point, there are boundaries, right? so we know those boundaries. Here's her question. Do you think that some of this has to do with cultural differences? So maybe speaking to the reporters' comments toward Dr. Biden or maybe even just in African American culture, how we act and react and, and how we embrace not just folks with a doctorate degree, but anybody with a title, as we were doing in our, I wanna say it was our, round table for NCA, which if those of you would like to see that is on this channel on this page, you can find that conversation, but I think it was


Dr. Dianna

.Sampson, Melva Sampson saying, that you know, we respect and applaud everybody's position. That's


Dr. Annette

What we do,


Dr. Dianna

Whether you, the choir member, and even if, and maybe this was on her pink Grove Chronicles. If you haven't seen pink Grove Chronicles, please check that out. But I can't remember what it was, but she was speaking about how, even if you not, singing well, come on, baby. That's all right. It's that sense of traditional communalism, right? as we, scholarships. So I think, yes. It's those cultural differences. Can you speak more to that a little bit? Dr. Annette (30:16) I think, some of it is cultural difference and part of that cultural difference is we're not supposed to be in that space. Okay. and so when, when we're there and we're present, Dr. Annette (30:33) You know, there's this thing that goes deep down and it's like, they're not supposed to be here. They won't be said out loud.


Dr. Annette

But the dig is not addressing you by your title and addressing everyone else by their.


Dr. Dianna

Absolutely. So,


Dr. Annette

So, it, with those instances, now there is, you know, some, professional organizational culture where everybody does go by their first name. Yeah. that's what they do. They're in little room. They go by their first name. That's what they do. However, do not encourage my students to call me by my first name. Cuz I would go for


Dr. Dianna

That. Don't do it. Theresa said better not call mama by her name. no


Dr. Annette

I won't tr ever try that again. I tried it once in my whole life, and I'll never do it again.


Dr. Dianna

Done. Okay. But right. And it's the same thing that, you know yes. So if it's just us talking, right. we have that relationship, but even, and if, but if we're out and about, but before we had that relationship when I first met you, hello Dr. Madlock how are you doing today? You know, because I didn't know, you didn't know me and we didn't know, you know, we didn't know each other from a can of paint, but beyond that, relationship grew. But too, I remember, in starting the program at Memphis, I met, you know, Andre Johnson, happy birthday, by the way, my advisor, I wanna say maybe it was over 10 years ago, American academy of religion and we were peers. He had just finished his MDiv, I think. And was it almost finished with his Ph.D.?


Dr. Dianna

Something along? I can't remember, but he didn't have his Ph.D. at that point. And so we were more peers. I was in ministry, he was a pastor, you know, whatever, and as soon as I started the program, I said, all right, Dr. Johnson. And I switched it up immediately. Why? Because even though we had that relationship before you were now my advisor, I wanna make sure you know, that. I know that I respect you. I see you as the only black man in this space. Right, you know, I see you also too. And, and I could see, and I could tell in the classes, they wouldn't respect him as much. Right. And and so, I want to make sure that I honor you and that now that I've graduated, it's a little bit different and I'm like, oh, I guess I can call.


Dr. Dianna

I guess I can't call Andre now. And it's different. It's weird. But that switch, right? My pastor, you're a minister. Yeah, I'm ordained at 10 elder too, but I'm not, saying Walter, Hey Walter, how are you doing? No, order. I don't order. Hi, Reverend Henry, if you're watching but it's Reverend Henry it's Reverend pastor, right? That's it. Right? It's a sense of making sure we Revere each other. And so I wanna send a few shoutouts to Laisha who was on last week, she sent in a wave, one of my sorority sisters. She was on last week with our conversation, with the twerk gate. If y'all wanna see that, please make sure you do. Shama said that that was a great explanation doc. So great explanation on breaking down you know, oral program and the research and Ali just, aha said, yes, she's just agreeing, you know, she's just agreeing.


Dr. Dianna

All right. But you started to bridge toward Healthcom and I wanna bring it back there. I wanted to make sure we laid this part out too. And that's why I thought this title, was great. The doctor is in because we're talking about doctorates, but we also need to talk about, doctors as far as not just Ph.D., but bridging the gap and having that conversation with MD. And so those that are maybe Ph.D., as far as virologists, immunologists, I don't know what I, and now, you know, you can get PhDs in all of those, right? You can't, so they're not done yet. Exactly. They're not done yet. You can get an MD and MD Ph.D. at the dual. So that was different but it also shows you that they are very important, especially when you very, a lot of again research-intensive, but the difference with the medical doctorate is that they diagnose and treat yes. And practice. Yes. That segues now into our conversation about, uh, what everyone is talking about. If those of you have not, what's going on. So, Terry, Hey, how are you doing? I love you, lady. and she's in Tennessee as well. A few other folks are in Tennessee. I know you're up, in the Midwest, I guess we


Dr. Annette

Don't have any snow yet here though. It's all on the east coast.


Dr. Dianna

Well, and they can keep it there. It's getting cold down here. but I don't know what all numbers are looking like as far as COVID, we've gotta talk about that. We have, oh. That's Tennessee is number one in the world right now for COVID cases. That was just reported. I wanna say this morning as early as this morning or last night, but we are number one. I wasn't able to pull up the numbers. If anybody can help me out in the comments. Y'all can go ahead and write the number.


Dr. Annette

put the numbers in Johns Hopkins keeps up to date, EV all over globally, all over the world in every, place in this state, Johns Hopkins has a good, a good way of tracking all those, COVID numbers. And, particularly in the Milwaukee area where they tried to throw away all the black people's votes in high numbers. That's is where high numbers of COVID. But, in addition to having, the health disparities, because of diabetes, heart disease, the cancers, black people are on our frontline there's a lot, we do a lot of service work.


Dr. Dianna

Yes.


Dr. Annette

And whether it's volunteering or it's our job every single day. So you're, out there.


Dr. Annette

You're, in the think of it. And so there's definitely, I know there's questioning about this vaccine and the different, the different vaccines that are coming out the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine that is coming out and you know, one of the things I'm going to look at this on my agenda is to make sure I understand the differences between those two and then the others that are coming out to be approved.


Dr. Annette

And knowing, that who participated in the studies and how is all of that gonna work? And so we know, there's a history of distrust, with the black community and the medical community for a very good reason. Dr. Annette (38:18) Harriet Washington, early on in my studies I used her books. It was called medical apartheid. Yes. And she, went through the entire history. So we know about Tuskegee and we know about Henrietta lax, but there was a reason why you didn't walk by graveyards. So all those little stories, your grandparents or great-grandparents talk about, there's a reason people did get snatched and then black people have a choice over what you did with your body.


Dr. Annette

So if you happen to have, you know, someone that was a bit sadistic or just wanted to try something out, what was that movie get out? if you had


Dr. Dianna

Yeah.


Dr. Annette

There was no choice. And so there's going to be distrust. And then with all the other you know, what's the number 45. This is all gonna go away, but no, we're gonna have this. I mean, there's all this back and forth and it's like, okay. So who's really what is the process that's happening right now? And so you have medical professionals trying to ease our minds by taking the vaccine. Cause they're on the front lines too.


Dr. Dianna

Right.


Dr. Annette

You know the nurses and doctors not some of the specialty doctors, but the ones who are in them, in the hospitals that treat us every day, folks there and they're getting filled up and people are dying. And nurses and doctors are getting sick as well as patients. It's not true. It's real. It's not fake. And the vaccine has been speedy, the production of it. And so that's questionable and technology has changed and things can speed up, which is true.


Dr. Annette

But yet, and still we're thinking about all this that has happened before Dr.


Dianna

Yeah. That collective memory piece, right? and as we're, thinking all of this out, you all help me out in the comments. Go ahead and ask your questions,


Dr. Annette

Ask questions. If,


Dr. Dianna

If you feel any skepticism about this vaccine, we're not here to bash it. We're not here to bash any,


Dr. Annette

In particular, it's cause one day I think, you know, I'm gonna take it. I'm like I'm a two-time breast cancer survivor. So I know I have preexisting conditions. I know they have not, they have not collectively done any kind of studies on how this vaccine, interacts with, breast cancer treatments or survivorship or anything like that. Cause if you've gone through any of all, any of those treatments, those side effects are long term forever.


Dr. Dianna

And so I've never been from that, but I've read about them, cuz I know I was reading some of your work, because news flash, there are only a few folks in the field of communication that say I am a woman, a scholar and I use. And so, you know, I was like, man, I can't use this because it's not directly in, you know, involved with what I'm doing or I would use it here. Right. And I, you know, I can't remember off the top of my head, but there was one of your pieces I was looking at. I was also looking at something else. Oh, the name is it's right on the tip of my tongue, another piece by a black woman and y'all are talking about, you know, just, being a black woman and suffering through all of these different, you know, health, disparities, and atrocities, right.


Dr. Dianna

It's just different. And the morbidity rates, folk for almost any and every disease, illness, sick, whatever you, whatever it is, it is the highest I know for myself in doing breastfeeding research, I do more y'all rhetoric of medicine. I'm Right. And, and so I have those conversations about, you know, how is this functioning, within our society, you know, how is the politicized, you know, what's being, you know, specifically, right? And so I'm not so much into the numbers and those sort of things where Dr. Annette is, much more well versed. I'm sure. Already said she took classes in genetics, but you know, right here COVID numbers for Tennessee, it's 484,285 cumulative. Okay. And so with this all being said, what Dr. Annette is speaking to is how many black folks were in the study. Right. And then of course, with that historical distrust of the medical community, because folks still don't think black folks need enough pain care pain medication.


Dr. Annette

Oh no. Because your pain tolerance is much higher. And so if you're here, you must be trying to get some drugs


Dr. Dianna

connects to the opioid crisis. Which connects to poverty, which connects to classism and class is so racism and sexism are class stratifications, so when you are a race body, all right, now you are automatically a class body. When you are a gendered body, a sexy body, then you are also classed. And so as a black woman, you know, it's like that tripartite oppression or triple oppression, as some would say. And so with that being said, if you don't mind talk a little bit about, for those that don't know, Henrietta lacks, talk a little bit. I think most of us are familiar with Tuskegee is Henrietta lax. And why is she so important? Talk about the book medical apartheid, like what, what freaking stand for


Dr. Annette

One of if you saw the movie, about her life and then continue to follow, that, it's just right on. She was, she went to the hospital, she was having, pains and, you know, on the, the female region. So anyway, she did not want any of her tissue kept or anything like that. They kept her tissue biopsied. It took parts of her. It didn't let her know or anything. So,continually over the years, they're reproducing the cells from her body, her tissues over the years and doing all different kinds of experiments on them. And so her family did not reap any of the rewards or benefits. And we know that, research medical, is a multibillion dollar business,


Dr. Annette

Billion, would it be? And so there's, just, a lot that when you go and you sign on, those papers, when you go to the hospital, you signed away everything. And so, you know, I'm when you say, oh, I wanna, see that when you're done taking it outta me, I wanna know what it looks like for some of us. There's a reason we do that. I don't want you keeping that for any reason, just get rid of it.


Dr. Annette

They're not gonna say that. And you, but when you sign those papers, you sign away your rights to your body parts, to your tissues. Whatever they took out of you. They can do whatever, they want with it. They can keep those for samples. And particularly if you're going through some sort of a rare, you have some, cancer or other, disease that they really wanna study and take a look at. And so they'll, keep that and hold it off to the side and do whatever they want. So that, what happened with her and then her family, they didn't, there was no benefit from that for them at all.


Dr. Annette

So, yeah. So if you read the book or you, watch the movie, you have all that, but with medical apartheid, Harriet Washington did, it's his, a history. So she's I don't know if it's an anthropological historian or something like that, but anyway, history's involved.


Dr. Dianna

Right, right.


Dr. Annette

She gave, a long historical view of just the relationship Africans, African Americans with, medical and me, medical doctors and medicine. And so she pulled out all these different ways that studies were done to benefit man, you know, humankind


Dr. Annette

But at the expense of, and so when you think about some of the when you think about Jews and the Nazis and all the experiments that were done,


Dr. Annette

some of that stuff was done over here first on this side of the water first


Dr. Annette

And so she also talks a bit about that in, in he book. And that'll that whole scenario on what's happening right now, politically just is gonna take us to a new topic. So we might schedule a different a different talk for that. But it's just the idea that when we think about what's happening, politically.


Dr. Annette

And social, you know, with the social justice and economics and everything that's happening right now. And the way that the propaganda machine is running that is, definitely taking from the playbook of Nazi Germany, and it's being repeated. And, and we ask ourselves, how could anybody follow that individual to commit and, commit such a atrocities? Well, it's happening, it's happening right here. So when you, so that's, a different conversation, but it's connected.


Dr. Annette

It's, it's connected in, in how we look at, um, health and medicine in our community and trust Dr. Annette(49:15) it is. And so that's just based on, you know, everybody will have their own opinion on that. I am not an MD, but I can read, I can process.


Dr. Dianna

Right.


Dr. Annette

My fingers are too for surgery Dr. Dianna (49:31) and you have a PhD.


Dr. Annette

And I have


Dr. Dianna

Ph.D. thing is that we are concerned with research and implementing new research and pushing our fields forward. Not to say that MDs don't write because a lot of them do like


Dr. Annette

They do, they do.


Dr. Dianna

but that's not at the forefront of their professional agenda. And so that's really, and truly the main difference. I don't want to highlight what you were saying though, about the vaccine. And I know a lot of people are very apprehensive, and I know a lot of black doctors, nurses, professionals are getting out there and they're speaking up and, you know, I'm gonna take it, you know, let's, be calm, let's be thoughtful about this. And I know the trepidation that all of you feel, but, you know, there is a lot of these differences exist, preexisting condition, diabetes, high blood pressure what, would an OVO say, sugar, right? and some of this is very connected to the way that we eat, and a lot of people demonize the way that black folk eats, but why do black folk eat the way that they do, right.


Dr. Dianna

We have a history of being placed in enforced into positions where we couldn't afford the good food, right, if you were to be on, you know, a very, very tight income it's often I was watching a documentary maybe from 10 years ago, but it was so interesting, but it was basically demonstrating how, you know, these folks in very rural areas. And, it was two black families, one white, they were in the white family or group was in West Virginia, but they were speaking about, they didn't really have access to fresh foods, ready access and, we're just saying, you know, we eat fried chicken, BA beans, pork shots, you know, candy and I like my food. So up, don't get me raw. I am, I can cook and I can throw down a little bit better than my mama, but don't let up.


Dr. Dianna

she'll probably, you know, bench for me, there are a few things she cooks better than me. I won't, I will admit, but really, and truly, you know, we're many times, especially in these urban areas and food deserts. And so when you don't have access to certain foods, when you don't have access to the the the healthy, organic right stuff, it sets you up for failure, right? It, is just like, and the educational system where, you know, you don't have the books and the technology and all of that stuff, it sets you up to not be able to do some of the same things. Right. And so we have to go 10 times harder. That's what we mean. Right. And trying to advance and trying to write, but back to the skepticism, it's not just, skepticism with the medical industry.


Dr. Dianna

It's because we are so skeptical. After all, systemic oppression is all around us. Right. It's not just in the fact that they, a lot of the minor modern, gynecological advancements, done on a woman, an enslaved woman. That did not have anesthesia. Right. It's the same reason why you, hear old folks today, don't put my name on no registry to leave my parts. You know, it's all of these things are connected. And so when you have systemic institutionalized racism and injustice against a particular group of people, it makes you skeptical. And unfortunately, you know, not just Tuskegee, but even in the nineties, they were still shooting up little black boys with stuff to see how they would be affected differently. So it's such a wide conversation, but


Dr. Annette