Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Feeling kind of proud.

Manning KD. The Nod. JAMA. 2014;312(2):133-134.

I originally wrote a version of a special essay for this blog back in 2011. My friend, the Profesora in Pittsburgh--and many of you--gave me the courage to revise and send it in for journal publication. Even Deanna once told me that she thought I should share this story in particular with a larger audience. That made the piece just that much more sentimental to me.

And so. Finally, I did. I bit the bullet and sent it in.

Well. In the July 9, 2014 issue of The Journal of The American Medical Association (JAMA), you can find an essay by your old friend. A piece that I know I never could have or would have written were it not for this space.

You know what else? I was even asked to do an author reading for their website. Yes. The JAMA website. Which blows my mind, actually. 

Crazy, right?

Man. I was so afraid to submit this. And even when it got accepted for publication, I felt nervous about it and started second guessing myself. 


When I heard my own voice reading my own truth on that recording? Out loud and for the whole world to hear? And when thought of it all--this truth so many of you have graciously given me permission to share so freely? Man. I broke down crying once I got to the end. Hard. I did. Because I felt really proud of myself. And super grateful. For you. For this. For words. For truth. For all of it.

Wow, man. Yet do I marvel.


(Click on the picture to hear the audio version.)
Yet Do I Marvel. . . .

If you click this photo, it will link you to the author reading on the JAMA website. It can be found next to a thumbnail of this same image. Also, just as an FYI, you'll need to be on a computer and not a mobile device for the link to work. And to read it full text you have to have either an individual or institutional subscription to JAMA. (But not to hear the audio.)


Yet Do I Marvel

I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind,
And did He stoop to quibble could tell why
The little buried mole continues blind,   
Why flesh that mirrors Him must some day die,
Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus
Is baited by the fickle fruit, declare   
If merely brute caprice dooms Sisyphus
To struggle up a never-ending stair.   
Inscrutable His ways are, and immune   
To catechism by a mind too strewn   
With petty cares to slightly understand   
What awful brain compels His awful hand.   
Yet do I marvel at this curious thing:   
To make a poet black, and bid him sing!

~ Countee Cullen

Share it, okay? The more we think together, the better we are together.

Happy Wednesday. And thank you so, so much for seeing me. I mean that with all of my heart.


  1. Lovely.Powerful.Empowering.Unifying. I am always proud to give the nod. As a medical student walking through the halls of the charity hospital where I was born in the inner-city I found myself seeming to sometimes completely pause conversations with classmates to make sure I was able to turn my head and give a nod to all of the nurses, clerks, custodians and physicians to let them know that "Yes, I see you and I haven't forgotten from whence I came." This piece was just as beautiful orated as it was when I first read it on your blog. Kudos Dr. Manning! As a resident now, your blog constantly motivates me to do more, learn more and open my eyes more. Thank you.

  2. I SEE you Dr. Kimberly Manning - and I'm giving you the NOD right back as the only black female engineer at my facility. Everyday I got to prove myself to myself and others. I'm proud of you! (and I know you're already nodding back)
    Toi Bowie c/o 93 Skegee

  3. I love this. I'm so proud of you, Miz!!!


  4. Wonderful! I can't wait to listen and congratulate you profusely.

  5. Your Dad and I talked quite a bit about how proud we are of you and your siblings, but we DID quibble about from whom you got your good looks! LOL! Great job!!

  6. Such a wonderful piece. I too have experienced this, these head nods, usually being the only black PhD chemist at a meeting or plant. And I have thought, is all this silent acknowledgment necessary? I've even been followed at times and cornered, and asked by some smiling person of color... "Who are you? Where did YOU come from?"

    You really gave it all full meaning, and I will always remember this piece. Thanks for that.

  7. So beautiful and I feel a sort of pride for you that I am completely undeserving of having and yet, still...
    I remember the post and you have brought it to life where thousands and thousands will benefit from listening.
    I give you a nod of approval. I give you a nod of "I see you."

  8. You should be proud! Congratulations!


  9. So great to hear your voice reading this worthy piece. Wonderful to have it online. x0 N2

  10. This is awesome! Congrats! Just stumbled on your blog today and I love it! As a black female in the middle of her med school application process, I am encouraged just reading your blog.

    Here's a big nod your way: Nice to meet you :)

    Derin A.

  11. Interesting. I grew up in rural MS and saw both black and white folks give the nod. My father did this a lot to both strangers and friends (if he was too busy to be able to stop and chat). It's a lovely way to acknowledge the presence and essence of another person. Perhaps it's similar to namaste in how I've always perceived it. It's respectful, yet friendly.

    I'm surprised that other white people (particularly southerners) don't understand it. Perhaps it's because where I grew up, it was possible for me (as a white girt) to be in the minority not only regarding race, but also as gender? I still give and receive the nod to anyone, both black and white. I do notice that it tends to only be older men who use this acknowledgement frequently. The young and white women, seldom do. So I'd mentally filed this lovely gesture away as being a generational communication that was fading.

    Interesting article. I had no idea. I'm glad the nod is still going strong.

    ...just a 49 year old white chick...who nods. :-)

  12. Wonderful. And I loved hearing your voice read it!
    xoxo L

  13. I love your work--with words, with your voice, and especially with people. You educate people with a direct but gentle touch--such an enviable skill. Congratulations!!!


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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