She's a Delta.🔺

Grady wards, 2016

On my rounds one day, I was with a med student talking to these two women about their seriously ill father. They were worried, tired, and understandably nervous. They asked a lot of questions.

A whole lot.

Damn, they were scared.
Then, in the middle of an explanation, I was making hand gestures and one sister interrupted me suddenly.

Her: "Wait. Can I see your hand?"

She slowly turned over my right hand, gasped and then looked over at her sister.

Her: *whispering to sister* "You see that?"
The other sister closed her eyes. Then she smiled and then nodded slowly.

Sister: "You're our soror."

She shook her head and released a big relieved sigh.

Then we embraced in a tight three-way Delta hug as tears rolled down their cheeks.

Damn, it was beautiful.
My student was so confused. I gently explained that we shared the same sorority, Delta Sigma Theta (@dstinc1913)

Student: *beaming* "That's soooo neat!"
Sister: "No, baby. . .." *patting her eyes with tissues* "This is more than that. She's a Delta."
Student: *listening*
Sister: "See, we just found out that we got a doctor in our family seeing about our daddy. Right here in Grady.”

She began to weep.

Sister: “And when you been as worried as we been? That's not just neat, baby. That’s a godsend."

And you know what?

She was right.

So. . . . here's the thing. @dstinc1913 is a historically Black public service sorority that was founded on this day in 1913. A unique feature of historically Black sororities and fraternities is that much of the work and commitment extends beyond college.

In fact, a large number of members get initiated AFTER they graduate from college.


So it's not unusual to see full grown, grey-haired women and me still proudly wearing their sorority and fraternity paraphernalia.

Kind of like me wearing that ring.
Specifically, @dstinc1913 has an enduring history of social activism and servant leadership since its inception 108 yrs ago.

In fact, our first public activity was the Women's Suffrage March in March 1913. And let's just say that not too many folks were excited to see them.
Beyond this, courageous women like Fannie Lou Hamer, Shirley Chisholm, and more would follow.

These women would inspire me. Draw me into their #missiondriven light and serve as my mentors through their lived examples.


I tear up just thinking about it.
And so.

Today, on our Founders Day, I did the thing that Deltas do.


First, I did residency interviews. And yep, I proudly wore my @dstinc1913 gear. I even got a shoutout from an applicant who attended @HowardUniv where we were founded.

Logged into interviews from @HealthyDeKalb where I'd be serving immediately after along with several other @dstinc1913 physicians.


We vaccinated over 500 seniors in the community. The majority of whom looked like us.

Damn, it was awesome.
Even better? I got to do this with my @MeharryMedical classmate-- @MSMEDU and @GradyHealth leader @YWimberlyMD (who organized us--just like she always did in med school.)


Which reminds me. I get to work with some amazing @dstinc1913 women.

(You probably do, too.)

My mentor, section chief, and @EmoryDOMRyse Vice Chair @BusseyJada
Our @EmoryDeptofMed Primary Care PD @drstacyhiggins

And so, so many more.

And us all being @dstinc1913 members is not a neat coincidence. It speaks to a shared mission.

Make sense?
I think Mary McLeod Bethune put it best:

"The Delta girl is one who has been given the opportunity of education and broad development. . . .

. . .with a purpose which directs her activities and all that she may control toward lifting somebody else."

Yeah. That.
And though I don't share the same sorority as @KamalaHarris and her @akasorority1908 sisters, I do think it's important to understand the deep meaning and legacy of historically Black sororities and fraternities.

I celebrate them all.
But on this day? I must be partial to celebrating @dstinc1913 the most.

No. That ring wasn't a neat college coincidence. It tells a story of shared mission.

It says, "She's a Delta."

And trust me--that says a lot. 👊🏾😉🔺

#ForwardWithFortitude #DST108 #DSTFoundersDay

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More from @gradydoctor

16 Jan
#WhatsYourWhy: Day 4 of 7

Senior Center

I stood with my gloved hands folded as she approached my station.

Her: *calling out* “Sorry I’m moving so slow.
Me: “It’s okay. Take your time.”

Slowly she approached, leaning her weight onto a four-prong cane with each step. Image
She handed me her consent form and ID.

Me: “Hi! My name is Dr. Manning. I’ll be administering your #COVIDVaccine today.”
Her: *nodding* “Nice to meet you. I’m Eloise.”
Me: “Likewise, Ms. Eloise. Thanks for being so patient with us.”
Her: “It’s okay.”

*name/details changed
Me: “Ms. Eloise, you right-handed or left-handed?”
Her; “I’m both handed. I was left but when I was little mama’nem made me learn to use my right.”
Me: *chuckling* “Well, let’s see. . . .which arm do you prefer me to give your shot in?”
Her: “Really? Neither.”

Read 20 tweets
14 Jan
#WhatsYourWhy, Day 3 of 7

Parking lot

I was walking to my car and saw 2 men next to a car and laughing. They appeared relaxed with one another.

Me: *waving* “Y’all doing alright?”
Them: *waving back* “Good and you?”
Me: “Trying to make it.”

They gave knowing nods. Image
"Trying to make it."
An expression Black folks know well.


One was wearing an Atlanta Falcons hoodie with the hood up. Only a strip of pecan-colored skin could be seen above his mask.

The other had on a thread-bare short-sleeved t-shirt & a neck gaiter over his nose.
Me: “Dang! You ain’t cold out here with that short-sleeved shirt?”

He rubbed his dark brown arms and laughed.

Hoodie: “Nah, the ashiness is protective.”


T-shirt: “I’ll take ashy over that wack ass Falcons hoodie.”
Me: “Yeeeah. . .not the best year for us.”
Read 16 tweets
13 Jan
#WhatsYourWhy: Day 2 of 7


Them: *ringing up items* “You find everything okay?”
Me: “Yup.”
Them: “I like your hair.”
Me: “Hey—thanks.”
Them: *nods while continuing to swipe items*


Them: “Is that highlights? Or . . . .“
Me: “Grey?”

Me: “Yup. I’m openly grey.”


Them: “Well, it’s working for you.”
Me: “’Preciate that.”


Me: “Can I ask you a question since you got all up in my grey-hair business?”


Me: “You getting the #COVIDVaccine when it’s offered to you?”
Them: *raises eyebrows*
Me: “Ha ha ha that’s not a answer.”


Them: “Wait--you a doctor or something?”
Me: *patting my head* “One with grey hair, yes.”
Them: *laughing* “You funny. But nah, doc. I’m cool on that vaccine.”

“Cool on” the vaccine. Hmmm.
Read 13 tweets
12 Jan
#WhatsYourWhy: Day 1 of 7

Delivery man

Me: "You being safe out there?"
Him: "You already know what it is. Got the hand sanitizer, back up masks, all that!"


Me: "Dang, you even wearing gloves."
Him: "Got a whole box in the truck. I ain't playin'!"

Me: "That's what's up."
Him: *turns to walk off*
Me: "Hey. . . .you planning to get the #COVIDVaccine when you can get it?"

He stopped in the middle of the lawn. Then he pulled his head back and then cocked it to one side.

Him: "Am I gon' what?"

Rut roh.
Me: *talking from doorway* "Get the vaccine to prevent #COVID19."
Him: *squinting eyes and (probably) smirking under mask* "Are you crazy?"


Him: "Heeeeeeellllll yeah I'm getting that shot! Shoot, you got one in your house?"

Read 5 tweets
30 Dec 20
This car pulled up to a 4 way stop just after me the other morning. On my left. As I pulled out, they did, too.

We nearly collided.

After a brief pause, I continued. Moments later, the driver swooped alongside me, extended an arm over the passenger seat, & flipped me off.
Then, they sped off. But got stuck at the red light just ahead.

2 lanes. An empty street. On an early morning.

And this person in a car now beside me who, after not having the right of way, decided to greet me with a middle finger.

Mmm hmmm.
Did I mention that this was on December 26? And that I'd worked not only on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day--but 12 consecutive days before?

And where I come from? Flipping folks off is not compatible with life.

Or at least compatible with not having it threatened.
Read 21 tweets
18 Dec 20
You: “They crazy as hell if they think I’m doing that shit.”

We stared at the wall-mounted TV showing the news. Health care workers gleefully rolled up sleeves and smiled for cameras as they received the first batches of the #COVIDVaccine.

You shook your head hard.
I’d swung by to check on you after missing you on rounds earlier that morning. Even though the television was muted, what was happening was clear.

Me: “What makes you say that?”

You cocked your head and raised your eyebrows at me.

Then threw back your head and laughed.
Me: “I’m serious!”
You: “Shiiit, I am, too!”


Me: “But real talk, though. What makes you say that?”
You: “Say what? Say I ain’t taking that half-cooked shot they peddling?”

Your reply was telling.

I sat on the bedside chair and waited to see what you’d say next.
Read 18 tweets

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