Whom Do You See When You Look at Me?

Tanya Wright

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“I am a proud, highly educated Black woman who grew up in the South and, though I was called a ‘nappy-headed nigger’ at a summer camp, I did not let this deter or hinder me from graduating at the top of my class. I am a proud, highly educated Black woman who attended a historically Black college for my undergraduate studies, graduated summa cum laude, and was inducted as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. I graduated from a historically Black dental school and was inducted as a member of the dental honor society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon.”—Dr. Tanya Wright

Don’t You Know

By Dr. Tanya Wright

Commuters riding the escalators during the evening commute at a T station in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo: Cassandra Zampini.)

Commuters riding the escalators during the evening commute at a T station in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo: Cassandra Zampini.)

“I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”―Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

Dr. Tanya Wright

BOSTON Massachusetts—(Weekly Hubris)—1 August 2020—Whom do you see when you see me rushing to catch the T? If you do not know, let me tell you:

I am a proud, highly educated Black woman who grew up in the South and, though I was called a “nappy-headed nigger” at a summer camp, I did not let this deter or hinder me from graduating at the top of my class.

I am a proud, highly educated Black woman who attended a historically Black college for my undergraduate studies, graduated summa cum laude, and was inducted as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. I graduated from a historically Black dental school and was inducted as a member of the dental honor society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon.

I am a proud, highly educated Black woman who challenged my specialty board and successfully passed it the first time, making me one of two Black women in the United States to be board certified in my specialty. I am the same proud, highly educated Black woman who has taught hundreds of students of various races and ethnicities to become competent general dentists, dental specialists, and dental educators. Although I am a proud, highly educated Black woman, I was questioned about missing office supplies despite the fact the supply closet was open to all to use. Were the supplies actually missing, or simply not ordered?

I am a proud, highly educated Black woman who can have a lively conversation/discussion about national current events and, in the same breath, ask if you have seen the latest episode of TLC’s 90-Day Fiancé.

I enjoy watching P.K. Subban score a power-play goal with his slap shot, Serena capture a tennis title with her amazing serve, or to see if Kawhi Leonard will amaze everyone again with a buzzer-beater shot from the corner.

I am a proud, highly educated Black woman with dreams to achieve and a world to travel once the pandemic calms down.

The next time you see me or other Black women rushing to catch the T, remember that we are proud, highly educated, and enjoy a spirited debate about current events and sports.

The Image used in this article derives from “The Atlantic.” Titled, The Commute,” this photo essay features unique black and white images of daily commutes in Boston, Chicago, and New York City, by photographer Cassandra Zampini.

Tanya Wright

About Tanya Wright

Dr. Tanya Wright is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial pathologist who graduated from Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee. She completed her oral pathology residency training at The New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens in Flushing, New York. After residency, Dr. Wright returned to teach at Meharry for eight years and was a part-time consultant with OralDNA Labs, Inc. Currently, Dr. Wright works at a Boston dental school as an Assistant Professor.
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3 Responses to Whom Do You See When You Look at Me?

  1. Avatar FTheresa Gillard says:

    Dr. Wright, Pride it up!
    FTG

  2. Avatar Will says:

    Dr. Tanya Wright, thank you for your ‘kick in the rear’ – a reminder that should be unnecessary, but is instead essential still. And thank you, too, for contributing to this issue of Weekly Hubris!

  3. Avatar Tanya Wright, DDS says:

    Thank you Will and FTheresa Gillard for the kind words and the opportunity share my voice!

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