July 7, 2020

Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards, the Associate Director of Research and Director of the Health Equity Working Group at the Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, has published an essay in Springer Nature as part of their “Amplifying Black Voices” series.

In the piece, Bentley-Edwards, who is also an Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine at Duke and the Co-Director of the Duke CTSA Special Populations Core, describes how her attitudes toward racial progress have developed and evolved over her life and career. She explains how her experiences in academia underscored the depths of systemic bias in the institution, especially in the broader context of the difficulties that Black women encounter:

When I faced my own challenges as an academic, I was blessed to have people in my life that reminded me of my direction and purpose. The people that offered the sagest advice were Black women, who could see themselves reflected in my sorrows. In these conversations, I consistently heard that they had experienced the same things, often with the same language. As one of these highly regarded Black scholars said, “It’s the same [mess], different decade.”

Read the full essay here.