‘Thank You, for Being Black History’ | Corbyn Mbock Nchako, MD (PGY-2)
Dear You, Whoever You are,
In America, since 1970, Black History Month has been a time to highlight the impact of the Black body, mind and soul on the growth and shaping of this nation. This is normally expressed through the veneration of historic icons in the Black community such as George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King Jr., Henrietta Lacks, or Barack Obama. However, this year I believe the best leader to highlight is—You.
Black History is nothing more than the lasting effects of Your existence and the decisions You make every day. As a self-identifying Black scientist, physician, healthcare provider or advocate, Your very existence is helping to shape Black History as we know it. This is written to celebrate You. To venerate You. But most importantly, it is written to remind You to continue being the best and most authentic version of Yourself that can exist. You have shaped the lives of not only the countless mentees and students You directly interact with, but more importantly the ones You do not. The little girl who accompanies her mother to her first appointment with You. The young man who sees You every day at the cafeteria. The woman who came across Your lab’s website when deciding whether to apply to graduate school or not. Or even the old man working at the hospital who tells his granddaughter every night that he “saw that smart Black doctor again at work today.” Your very existence in these spaces not only empowers the communities You come from, but also gives representation and a dream to those young and old who dare to see You in themselves. You are shaping Black History.
Many of You have the experience of being “the first” or “the only,” and all its attached pride, frustrations and unbeknownst expectations. You may have questioned Your place in society. Remember, it is okay to bend, but You will not break. Even the tallest trees are not without their bows and flexures that were once temporary stories in their quest to touch the sky. To lead is to serve. You were never charged with the task of paving the way for those behind You, but You recognize the importance of shaping a road that could one day help someone else discover their own path.
So, thank You. For everything You have done, and more importantly, for every soul that You have touched. Your voice, Your hands, Your smile, Your hair, Your confidence, Your energy, Your existence and so much more. Thank You, for being Black History.
Corbyn Mbock Nchako, MD (PGY-2)
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
New York Presbyterian: Weill Cornell Medical Center
Corbyn M. Nchako, MD, is an Ob/Gyn Resident Physician at New York Presbyterian: Weill Cornell Medical Center.
This column is sponsored by an unrestricted grant from GSK. Sponsorship excludes editorial input. Content developed by the SGO Diversity, Inclusion & Health Equity Committee.