Diversity Magazine Articles




Black male child watching a white girl at an ice cream counter

September 26, 2020

Writer:

Alonzo Felder

I grew up in the house my grandparents built in 1923. It sat on 31st Street and 12th Avenue South in the D7 section of the town of St. Petersburg, Florida, also known as “the Gas Plant,” according to the city’s redline map. I was four months old when they found Emmett Till’s body in Mississippi. A Jet magazine, with the photos of his mangled, tortured body, was always on the living-room coffee table.

Two images by Fati Abubakar

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Fati Abubakar

From the minute I arrived in the United States from Nigeria as an international student, my instinct was to look for an African community—a restaurant, a mosque, an association. And in the African diasporic community, I found happiness, a sense of belonging. However, as a photojournalist, I wondered why so many of us Africans leave home. What was the pull to the United States or to Europe?

Black Duke employees and white Duke employees, segregated at 1946 holiday party

July 22, 2020

I am writing two weeks after the murder of George Floyd, as protests against white supremacy take place across the country. Many Americans are reckoning with the impact of racism, especially as it relates to American history. I, too, am reckoning with the past, especially here at Duke. There are hard truths to accept in a place where many people feel warmly embraced—a place that many of us love.

Mychal Harrison

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Mychal Harrison

This issue, I’m lending this space to the new DAA president, Mychal Harrison ’01, who has a special message for all alumni. —Sterly Wilder ’83, associate vice president, alumni affairs

In 1967, protesters confront federal troops in Newark

July 22, 2020

Protests sparked by police actions. Anxiety over (invented) outside agitators. “Lawand- order” leaders drawn into competing crises. Media accounts—Newsweek, in one case—offering assessments that to be Black in America is to assume “that America is after all a racist society.”

August 8, 2019

I am the little girl at the end of a dirt road seldom traveled on. The curious mind who watched her grandmother weave rugs for eight hours straight, never tiring. The young soul who never understood the land she walked on was crying for help.

A graphic of number as if in computer code

August 7, 2019

My boys have dark brown curls and mischievous smiles. They speak with clarity and confidence. They move with boundless energy but also with unexpected grace. They enjoy playing with their lovies, reading with their daddy, and dancing with me, their mommy. They were born in St. Louis, but their great-grandparents were born in Africa, Asia, and Europe. They are six and eight. They represent the best of America. And I am scared for their future.

September 30, 2014

Writer:

Louise Flynn

When Kentucky attorney general Jack Conway ’91 stepped behind the podium last March to announce he would no longer defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban, he was, in effect, walking onto the national stage. He was not the first attorney general to take such a stance—there had been seven before him, and more since—but his five-minute, heartfelt remarks went viral, and the moment became another turning point in the marriage-equality movement.

September 25, 2014

Writer:

Ryan Hoerger

Last March, in Muhuru Bay, Kenya, twenty-eight young women from the Women’s Institute for Secondary Education and Research (WISER) were honored as part of the school’s first graduating class. It was an emotional event, a long time in the making.

September 25, 2014

Writer:

Bridget Booher

At the opening of the new Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity last year, President richard H. Brodhead acknowledged that the deeply entrenched homophobic prejudice in the U.S. also played out at Duke. “This university regrets every phase of that history,” he said.

September 25, 2014

You’re an outsider who needs to operate as a n insider in a pretty confusing setting, a setting that, for a couple of years, will impose all sorts of expectations on you. Lots of obstacles for you to stumble over. Lots of rituals and routines to sort out.

August 1, 2014

It takes a great deal of strength to leave the security of home. This audio short features a mother sharing immigration stories with her daughter, and what it took for their family to build a life for themselves here in America.

August 1, 2014

Symbols wield immense power over people, but often their meaning is different for each of us. This story reflects on an encounter with a particularly polarizing symbol long-steeped in American southern culture in the voices of diverse students from across the country.

November 12, 2013

Intolerance, Mahatma Gandhi once said, is a form of violence and an obstacle to a true democratic spirit. Although those words weren’t repeated at the late-September opening of the new Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, it seemed a sentiment with which attendees would concur.

November 12, 2013

During the second quarter of this year’s football homecoming game against Troy University, Michael Holyfield ’79 finally got the respect he deserved. The first African-American Duke Blue Devil mascot was given a letterman jacket by the athletics department.

“We wanted to honor him and the historical contributions he made,” said Jon Jackson, associate director of athletics for external affairs, in a statement.