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NO. 3, VOLUME 104


Justice and transformation Crossing ethnic and denominational boundaries. Challenging poverty and inequity. Reconciling differences. Gifts to Duke support the people, places and programs that empower us to complete our enduring mission of knowledge in the service of society.


Made possible by you.

FEAR—along with its close neighbor, anxiety— is everywhere. Fear of immigrants. Fear within immigrants. Fear around the future of democratic institutions. Fear that artificial intelligence will overwhelm human endeavor. Fear that hotter temperatures and elevated sea levels will overwhelm nature’s balancing act.


And consider this item from the latest Harper’s Index: Among Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine, twice as many are fearful

Edgardo Colón-Emeric M.Div’97, Ph.D.’07, assistant professor of Christian theology, is the new director of Duke Divinity School’s Center for Reconciliation. Here, he teaches lessons of healing and harmony to Duke Divinity students and graduate students visiting from Central America.

Whether you leave a legacy with a planned gift or make an immediate impact with an Annual Fund donation, every dollar makes a difference. Together, we are generating the means for the next generation of Duke students and faculty to advance ideas, make new connections and move the world forward. | #MadePossibleBy

rather than hopeful about the future of the country. This issue explores some of the ways that fear factors into our lives. READ ON. And find some fearless explorations into the theme of fear.

April 12-14, 2019 Celebrate. Reminisce. Reconnect. Come back to Duke Reunions and remember what it means to be Forever Duke. CELEBRATING THE CLASSES OF: 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994,

1999, 2004, 2009, 2014 and the Half Century Club


DUKE MAGAZINE SPECIAL ISSUE 2018 | Vol. 104 | No. 3 EDITOR: Robert J. Bliwise A.M. ’88 MANAGING EDITOR: Adrienne Johnson Martin SENIOR WRITER: Scott Huler CLAY FELKER STAFF WRITER: Lucas Hubbard ’14 CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Christina Holder M.Div. ’13 STAFF ASSISTANT: Delecia Hatcher PUBLISHER: Sterly L. Wilder ’83, associate vice president, Alumni Affairs SPECIAL SECTIONS EDITOR: Bridgette Lacy ART DIRECTOR: Lacey Chylack, phase5creative, inc. PRINTER: Progress Printing OFFICERS, DUKE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION: Jack Boyd ’85, president, Sterly L. Wilder ’83, secretary-treasurer DUKE MAGAZINE Box 90572, Durham, N.C. 27708 PHONE: (919) 684-5114 FAX: (919) 681-1659 E-MAIL: dukemag@ ADDRESS CHANGES: Alumni Records, Box 90581, Durham, N.C. 27708 or • © 2018 Duke University, Published five times a year by the Duke Alumni Association.

Learn more about the weekend:

Duke Alumni Association Reunions Office • Box 90572 • Durham, NC 27708-0572

SPECIALISSUE A collection of essays and images from Duke faculty, students, staff, and alumni




CONTRIBUTORS: Alumni: Robert J. Bliwise A.M. ’88; Tyler Bonin A.M. ’14; Wesley Caretto ’18; Calvin Dark ’01; Haley Enos ’17; Caroline Fernelius ’18; Bill Fick ’86; Rajiv Golla ’17; Chloe Hooks ’18; Rhett Iseman Trull ’99; Rachel Jessen M.F.A. ’18; Manjusha P. Kulkarni ’91; Alison Levine M.B.A. ’00; Nick McCrory ’14; Kim McLarin ’86; Gwen Oxenham ’04; Mark Pinsky ’70; Tim’m T. West ’94; Rusty Wright ’71 Students: Leah Abrams; Teig Hennessy Faculty: Neal Bell; David Casarett; Luke A. Powery Staff: Camille Jackson




ForeverDuke In Memoriam

I could feel it in my mind, in my stomach, in my chest, and in my fingers and toes.



HE KHUMBU ICEFALL lies between Base Camp and Camp One on the Nepal side of Mount Everest. The icefall rises 2,000 vertical feet and is one of the deadliest sections of the route, composed of massive ice towers called seracs, which can be as large as houses. The whole thing looks like an insane frozen obstacle course. As part of an enormous glacier, the icefall is always in a state of motion and it moves at a rate of about four feet per day: When the sun comes out and the ice starts to melt, these building-sized ice chunks start to shift. Every once in a while, one or more of them will collapse onto the route, so climbers are in constant danger of being crushed. Picture yourself trying to make your way through a gigantic life-sized game of Jenga, but the blocks are made of ice rather than wood. When the wrong piece moves, the entire structure can come crashing down, demolishing everything around it. The threat is constant, and when it comes to that icefall, there is never a time or place you feel totally safe. Yet another layer of danger comes from the fact that there are huge crevasses (deep, open cracks in the glacier) everywhere, meaning you could plunge hundreds of feet to your death. The icefall’s fearsome reputation is well-deserved and sometimes plays a role in people’s decision to climb Everest from the north side, approaching from Tibet instead of from Nepal. As a veteran of two Everest expeditions, I’ve probably been though the icefall sixteen times. And while you would think it would become less and less frightening the more times I climbed through it, it didn’t. The sixteenth time was not any less terrifying than the first time, and here’s why: The icefall never becomes any less dangerous. Now, the more time you spend at altitude, the more acclimatized you become, and the faster you are able to climb through it. And the faster you can climb, the less time you are exposed to the hazards, so that’s good. But the risk is never gone, and plenty of experienced climbers have lost their lives while going through it. In April

2014, a serac collapsed and killed sixteen Nepali guides— most of whom had years of experience on the mountain. The fear never went away when I was maneuvering through that area. I could feel it in my mind, in my stomach, in my chest, and in my fingers and toes. Each time I was making my way through it, I kept thinking, “How will my loved ones feel if I don’t come back from this mountain?” They’d probably say, “She died doing what she loved”—but that doesn’t change the fact that when you die on a mountain it’s usually a horrific death: a fall, cerebral edema, an avalanche, hypoxia. I was frightened all the time, and what made it worse was that I felt like such a wimp for feeling scared, because so many other climbers seemed to dance through that obstacle course of ice almost as if they were enjoying it. In 2002, after I’d made seven uneventful passes through the icefall, Everest decided to test my nerves by unleashing an avalanche during my eighth time passing through. I heard a thundering sound and looked up—only to see 10,000 tons of ice barreling down toward my team. I closed my eyes and held my breath…and the entire slide stopped just a few feet from us. I had no idea I would be back eight years later, rolling the ice dice again. In 2010, my attitude was different. Okay, I was still totally scared! What had changed, though, was the way I thought about my fear. I stopped beating myself up for feeling scared and started embracing it. I knew there was still a tremendous amount of risk present, but I focused on my surroundings. I was more agile, more able to adapt and move quickly when the ice around me moved and shifted. And this experience taught me one of the most critical lessons about mountaineering, business, leadership, and life: Fear is fine—it’s just a normal, human emotion. But complacency will kill you. Fear is what kept me awake and alert. It motivated me to continue to constantly survey my surroundings as I was making my way up a very big mountain. That fear is what kept me alive. n

Levine M.B.A. ’00 is an adventurer who served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, climbed the highest peak on all seven continents, and skied to both the North and South Poles. She spent four years on the part-time faculty at West Point, where she lectured on the topic of leading teams in extreme environments.

image source




PARIS, FRANCE Paris was the first city outside the U.S. that I ever visited and I remember when my study abroad program was done and I was sitting on the plane on the tarmac en route back home, I said to myself, "I've GOT to come back here." And I have several times and hope to continue.

TIPUTINI, ECUADOR In 2013, I took a group of conservation journalists DEEP into the Amazonian rainforest for a site visit. I am NOT an outdoors person and this was SO outside my comfort zone. But I did it (saw everything but snakes, thank GOD) and crossed several items off my bucket list.

OUARZAZATE, MOROCCO It's a city at the edge of the Sahara desert. I lived in Rabat and from day ONE, Moroccans nicknamed me "Ouarzazati"— "someone from Ouarzazate" because they said I looked like I HAD to be from there. So, I made it my mission to visit this city and I did after about four months. When I got there, I was blown away and I understood the nickname: In that city there's a mix of Arab, Berber, Sub-Saharan African peoples because the city was an ancient oasis and the mixture looked JUST like me and my family. The people there assured me that my family's roots had to be there. I try to visit my "adopted hometown" every time I go back to Morocco.

LOME, TOGO The president of Togo was my client in 2014 and I traveled there to meet with him for our project. It was an amazing experience because it was there where I really started to feel my identity as part of the African diaspora.


“You ought not go over there. Ain’t no telling what could happen to you.”


an aunt warned me when I decided to study abroad. The decision wasn’t surprising because I had a lifelong fascination with foreign languages. But in Siler City, about fifty miles southwest of Durham, I had nearly exhausted the opportunities to use them. It was a shock to both my community and me that I found myself going, with an actual passport and airline ticket, over a big, real ocean. “But do you even speak Paris?” a cousin asked that summer night after my freshman year before I left for France. While I was excited to put my Parisian skills to the test, I was afraid. Durham was the biggest metropolis I’d semi-conquered. However, that fear was nothing compared to the fate that would befall me if I ignored the wisdom my parents had always made plain. HAT’S HOW

“If you get to the end of your life and you’re not happy with it, you can’t blame nobody but yourself.” I was raised by parents, family, and a community who were profiles in courage—like many black folk in North Carolina. Strong communities are such because that wealth of knowledge from facing fears is shared. But confronting my fear took me metaphorically and literally far away from any tool in our community’s arsenal. Besides, with all the new and amazing options and opportunities I had in this country—a burgeoning Duke education among them—why was I drawn to faraway places I could quite easily avoid? They thought I learned my lesson once I got safely back to campus from France. That was until my next study-abroad adventure, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “Be careful over there!” my uncle hollered by phone across a hemisphere. “We saw everything happening on the news and wanted to make sure you’re all right.” Apparently there had been an uptick in violence in Bosnia. I just listened, thanked him for the heads-up, and told him to let everybody know I asked about them.

It’s so telling what I remember about my Duke senior year. I recall in vivid detail the Saturday night a good friend and fellow senior strongly encouraged me to apply for a Fulbright fellowship after my planned post-graduation opportunity evaporated. I don’t remember how I got the news late that spring that I had been named a Fulbright Scholar to Morocco. I also don’t remember any specific one of the associated waves of congratulations, though there were lots from friends, faculty, and family. But I do remember that evening after the news’ novelty subsided and preparations for Morocco began. I was coming out of an East Campus computer lab, where I had printed the final copy of my last assignment for graduation, when I got a phone call. “Do you think we’re going to just let you go? Are you crazy?” said my steadfast family Amen corner, though in that moment they sounded like a Greek chorus warning of tragedy. My return to the U.S. after my Fulbright year in Morocco coincided with a large family cookout where I was eavesdropping and overheard a cousin ask my aunt where I was off to next. “I don’t exactly know, but I bet it’ll be Morocco again, he loves it. Chile, do you know Morocco? It’s just south of Spain in Africa and they speak Arabic and French. Calvin speaks both of those. You remember that beautiful dress I wore to the church banquet? It was a gift—handmade from Morocco....” Now, I get excited when I “like” a cousin’s Facebook post that he’s studying abroad in Ethiopia or that she’s doing a Spanish immersion program in Costa Rica. I’m awestruck by my life’s purpose when I receive a text that someone in my community’s embrace “is getting a passport for the first time & needs some travel advice.” When you’re a part of a strong community, you don’t really face fears alone—no matter how far away confronting them takes you. I unknowingly but thankfully took my family on my journey and made my own special contribution to our great shared wealth of knowledge. n

Dark ’01 resides in Washington, D.C., and is president of CD Global Strategies Group, a public-relations firm he founded. DUKE MAGAZINE





Y PATIENTS ARE AFRAID. Very afraid. They’re afraid of being in pain. They’re afraid of suffering. They’re afraid of losing their dignity and of being dependent on others. More than anything, they’re afraid of dying. I’m a palliative-care physician; I take care of patients who are struggling with chronic, serious illnesses like cancer, heart failure, emphysema, and dementia. Most of them are afraid of what’s going to happen to them as their disease gets worse. And they’re all afraid of the future. It’s taken me most of my career to learn this simple lesson: They should be. The serious illnesses that they’re facing are scary.

those fears, or postponing them, didn’t make my patients feel any better. In fact, I’m pretty sure that my approach—don’t worry—made many of my patients more afraid. Telling them not to be afraid not only doesn’t help; it gives a not-so-subtle message that their fears aren’t rational. That’s the last thing I wanted to do, but it’s probably what I did without knowing it. I’ve learned, though. I saw that those reassurances didn’t help. My patients weren’t more comfortable, or less afraid, when I walked out of their hospital rooms. Now, when one of my patients tells me she’s afraid—of pain, of suffering, of being dependent, of dying—I tell her that she’s right to be afraid. That most people in her predicament would be afraid.

I’m pretty sure that my approach—don’t worry—made many of my patients more afraid. They rob people of their dignity, and they cause symptoms and suffering. And—all too often—they end in death. So my patients are right to be scared. Fear is a logical, rational, sensible response to what they’re facing. But it took me far too long to figure that out. Early in my career, when I was a young doctor right out of fellowship, I hadn’t learned that lesson yet. When one of my patients confided that she was scared, I offered whatever reassurance I could. You’re afraid of being in pain? Don’t worry, we have medications that can manage pain, most of the time. You’re afraid of ending up in a nursing home? Don’t worry, I’m sure your daughter will step in to take care of you. You’re afraid of dying? Don’t worry, there are still other treatments we can try. In my defense, those awkward attempts to reassure were well-intentioned. I really wanted my patients to feel better. And I was convinced at some level that if they felt better, they’d do better. But those empty phrases didn’t help. Downplaying

That I would be afraid if I were her. And that being afraid is natural and rational. Then I ask her what she’s afraid of. Is it pain, or having to be dependent on opioids? Is it a loss of independence, or being a burden on her family? Is it a fear of dying, or a fear of dying suddenly, without a chance to say goodbye? I ask, but I don’t say much. I don’t offer hearty words of encouragement, and I don’t casually dismiss whatever she’s feeling. I listen. Then, once my patient knows that I respect what she’s feeling, and once she knows I understand exactly what’s making her most afraid, I offer whatever reassurance I can, with as much detail as she wants. And I leave the door open to come back and revisit those fears—and others—whenever she wants. Finally, I offer patients the most valuable reassurance I can. That isn’t a promise that they won’t have pain, or that they won’t experience suffering, or that they won’t die. It’s a promise that I and others will be there, and that we’ll listen to her fears, and we’ll take those fears seriously, and that we’ll overcome them together. n

Casarett is professor of medicine and chief of palliative care at Duke Health. In addition to more than 100 professional-journal articles, he has written for Salon, Esquire, Discover, Newsweek, The New York Times, and Wired. He is also the author of three nonfiction books, most recently, Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana (Penguin Random House).


...RIGHT_ 8



HE ELECTION commissioner had gone

missing a few days earlier, but we hadn’t thought much of it. A misunderstanding, a reclusive tendency, or perhaps a midnight tryst. Then the news came over the television: Chris Msando had been murdered, his body found on the side of a highway outside Nairobi. My editor dispatched me and a cameraman to the mortuary in the company car. “Call me the second you see the body,” she told me. I generally enjoy the languor of Nairobi traffic, using the time to steep in my own thoughts. But it’s something of a double-edged sword when covering spot news. I spent the ride doing my best to stifle my anxieties about reporting breaking events but succeeded only in sweating through my shirt and not throwing up. We finally arrived at the mortuary compound, minutes after Chris’ body did. The screams of a family that had just received the

It wasn’t the first time I’d seen a brutalized body of their son, their brother, their nephew, pierced the stuffy courtyard. Chris lay on a cold steel table, his body covered with a crisp white sheet, his face exposed and tilted right, directly at me, standing outside the double doors. In that moment, all my anxieties, my reporting instincts, my editor’s clear instructions, vanished. I stared at Chris’ face, each cry from his family plunging into my chest. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen a body. On previous trips to South Sudan, I’d reported from cities under siege, from hospitals treating battle casualties, and from impromptu churchyard funerals where parents buried their children. But I’d navigated those experiences somewhat stoically, viewed it through the “objective” lens—the luxury of journalists—never allowing myself to dwell on those moments. But that afternoon, those walls collapsed and that distance between subject and reporter disappeared. I’m not sure why; I had never

met Chris. In the mortuary, I was bathed in his death, in its reverberations, in the sorrow and the pointed grief left in its wake. His family was weeping and his colleagues feared for their lives. Rumors swelled about a political conspiracy to cow the commission into rigging the polls. Chris had been in charge of preparing and securing the electronic voting machines that had been at the heart of several scandals in the run-up to elections. He’d studied computer science in college and worked for years as an IT assistant and Web designer before being launched into the spotlight with a post on the controversial commission. “He was just a nerd,” became my refrain, pregnant with despair and clawing for answers I knew would never come or would never satisfy me. In that moment, all the death I’d witnessed crashed down at once. All the sheer sadness and human toll I’d kept at arm’s length for years paralyzed me. I called my mom that night and wept. I’d heard the cries of a mother holding her dead son, a “nerd” caught in forces larger than he could fight, body. and I understood at once the hell I put my own mother through when I traveled to South Sudan at the height of its war, swinging at windmills. It was the ultimate power and love of a parent, distilled. I came closer to understanding what every mother, father, brother, and sister I met in refugee and protection camps across East Africa might have felt, their loved ones stolen from them for a cause manmade yet beyond their control, “If only…” ringing in their heads. In that moment, the sacrifices made by the people around me for the sake of my career became tangible, and I have carried them with me ever since. They have steeled my sense of duty to work as respectfully and boldly as I can at every moment. Yet that responsibility comes with a fear of failing all those who have invested in me, of betraying all those who have trusted in me. To tell Chris’ story was a privilege, and I feared not doing him justice. It’s a fear that seizes my hand every time I sit down to write: that perhaps writing something might end up doing more harm than not writing anything at all. n

Golla ’17 is a freelance journalist based in East Africa. He has reported for Reuters, Vice, Roads & Kingdoms, and The Christian Science Monitor, among other publications.





is a visual exploration of girls’ youth wrestling in North Carolina. RACHEL JESSEN M.F.A. ’18 captured club practices and team tournaments, combined with portraits, to create “a holistic view of distinct individuals united by their love of the sport.” What’s clear in these images is the fearlessness of these girls, not yet burdened by societal notions of femininity. They are therefore free to assert their power, says Jessen. “It is far too often that the experiences of young women and girls are trivialized and flattened into a single, homogenous story—a story that is not always heard or believed or respected. This project not only highlights the growing popularity of the sport among women and girls, but also complicates the notion of what it is to be a young girl, demonstrating the nuance of a single person’s experience. This work also questions larger power structures and the ways in which girls have been socially conditioned to be or behave.” n







“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”

HIS IS WHAT ONE CHARACTER, Lee, says at the end of John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden. I graduated this past May, and these words have been keeping house in my brain ever since, proving at times to be an assemblage of unruly residents I’d rather evict as I make sense of what has just transpired. The thing is, I want to believe in Steinbeck. I want to believe in me. But life in the “real world” is strange, and curious things keep happening to me: my ringing laugh reduced to a whisper during happy-hour in the West Village. A recurring moment of panic before I do anything on the Internet. The slightest buckle of the knees as I’m waiting for the 6 in the sickly heat of the underground. Something out there is scaring me. During the final weeks of college, my friends and I talked a lot about fear. We talked about how it was the emotion presiding frustratingly over all the pomp and circumstance, how sometimes we awoke alone, sweating—but unable to pinpoint why. The air-conditioning in our off-campus apartments actually worked well; finals were over. And yet, the unease persisted. In a half-effective attempt to calm myself, I did what I always do and turned to words—Steinbeck’s, more specifically. But when I did, I found that cognitive roadblocks abounded: It might be that goodness follows the release from some mandated perfection. But it is also true that I (just finished with my first week at my first real job) haven’t yet released myself from perfection’s custody. Worse, I can envision a world in which I never do. There are these insidious thoughts that invade some evenings as I creep back to my room alone, tired and half-fulfilled, carrying the briefcase that seems comically out of place. What if, despite attending a university that practically told me I was destined to become great, I never actually get to be someone important? I’ve started telling people I meet at parties that I’m an artist, a part wish, part inside joke with my friends that usually surprises as a response to the obligatory “so what do you do?” The concomitant smirk belies a darker reality: I’m terrified. I’m terrified I’ll never earn the title I toss out half-jokingly over drinks. I’m terrified that the future I envisioned for myself—the one where I top all the lists, and go to all of the readings, and where some of the readings are mine—will escape me, remaining illusory until I wake up one day and realize “it” never happened.

As Junot Díaz writes in his novel This Is How You Lose Her, “as soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it’s the end.” In a similar vein, the process of leaving college and transitioning to whatever comes after has been fraught with flashbacks, as if every exit necessitates some return to the entrance that made it all possible. While my time at Duke instilled in me many things, I worry now that one of them is this unshakeable obsession with the amazing. The national and the noteworthy. The perfect. In roundabout (and some not-so-roundabout) ways, the elite university admissions process itself prescreened for this very condition. Four years ago, we were excellent. You could see it rolling through and off of us like waves, a thing both inspiring and horrifying, providing the catalogue of accomplishments that features prominently in The Speech, a welcome-to-Duke address given in the chapel to first-years every August. But after that inventory (“One of your classmates runs a nonprofit in Bangladesh! One is world-class in equestrian!”), it was hard not to feel only a stronger variant of something we have felt, in degrees, our entire lives—namely, that perfection is the only option, the only answer choice worth bubbling in on the standardized test that is life. I remember feeling relieved rather than ecstatic when I got the call that started all of this, the one informing me that my higher education would be paid in full by a scholarship I was lucky to receive. It was as if my subconscious was saying then, You were the best. And thank God, because can you even imagine what would have happened if you weren’t? There are many things I haven’t done for fear that “perfect” might prove unattainable, that I might end up with “good” instead—a consolation prize not even worthy of a spot in the garage. Essays and poems and maybe even novels I haven’t written. Relationships I haven’t started. It’s challenging and it’s scary, but I’m trying, atom by atom, to piece together new dreams, to envision a world where my doing (or being) is enough. Maybe I’ll write a book rather than a best-seller. Maybe I won’t split my time between East and West Coast literary circles, but the New York Public Library will always be beautiful at night, when the reading room on the second floor clears out a bit and you can hear the radiator humming in the winter. I might not live ten floors above Central Park. But I’m sure I’ll go on the weekends, and the sun will strain through layers of tree such that the sidewalks appear latticed with light. And it will be good. n

Fernelius ’18 majored in English, was heavily involved in creative writing at Duke, and was awarded the Academy of American Poets University & College Poetry Prize. She works at an education start-up in New York City.




XX |


After a move across the country in pursuit of her dreams, HALEY ENOS ’17 began grappling with anxiety, notions of self-worth, and fears about the unpredictability of life, as well as how she could carve her own path. She found her friends were having similar feelings. Those thoughts inspired the creation of these cards, each representing a particular fear with accompanying affirmations to soothe them.

THE THINKER The Thinker reminds me to take lessons from air. Found in water, fire, and earth, air is the essential element of life. Though invisible, it is ubiquitous. The thoughts in my mind are mine and mine alone, but that does not mean I am alone with them; as invisible as the air, they permeate into every aspect of my being. They are the basis of my physical and emotional reality. I am in control of my experience. I begin by closing myself off to listening. I do not hear my thoughts. Instead, I notice my patterns of thought. Categorize them. I excavate the roots, the physical and emotional responses of my body, to understand my mind. Truth does not exist in this sphere. Only presence.  As quietly and humbly as a breath of air gives life, I ask my thoughts to unwind themselves. I find kindness in them, and release those that do not serve me. I honor my negative thoughts. I acknowledge their intention to protect me, to shield me from harm and thicken my skin. I know all of my thoughts aim to serve my wellbeing, but I get to choose how to listen. I manifest my past. I manifest my present. I manifest my future. I am at peace. I am at peace. I am home.


THE SEEKER The Seeker reminds me to take lessons from the earth when I do not know how to move forward. Just as the tree needs the soil and the sun and the rain, I acknowledge what is feeding my soul, what is helping me blossom, and what is lacking in sustenance. I close my eyes and feel the roots of my body, tangled up in everything familiar to me. I let go of what I have outgrown. I pick up my feet. I let myself move into new spaces naturally, without force or judgment. I embrace the unknown as a chance for growth.  I trust the more I seek, the more I shall find, and thus, I open myself to every possibility. I understand that imagining my dreams is an integral part of their creation. I open my eyes only when I am ready. I take the horizon as my guide, for it is always in sight, and as far away as it ever has been. I let it rest there, steady and supportive. I let it anchor me in my own presence. It is not only ahead of me, it is behind me, to my left and to my right. The future surrounds me. There is no wrong direction. I embrace the unknown. I embrace the unknown. I step forward.


THE WARRIOR The Warrior reminds me to take lessons from fire. Just as the sun sustains the orbit of the earth, I give energy to those in my orbit. My work is to acknowledge when the act of giving energizes me and when it depletes me. I cannot be the sun for everyone. I take the time to notice when I give energy from my heart, and when I give energy as a means to ensure my value and worth in a relationship. I recognize this is not sustainable. When I am not connecting my energy from a place of love and trust, I isolate myself. I take the time to evaluate my relationships and examine the dynamics of power and flow of energy. I forgive myself for the bridges I burned when I was too overwhelmed to control my fire and for the parts of myself I’ve lost and given up. I replenish myself with rest and self-care. I honor and vocalize what I need and accept it for myself. I accept fire as a process of creation, destruction, and ultimately transformation. I am grateful for the process. I give. I give. I receive.

The Goddess reminds me to take lessons from water, the mirror of the natural world. Water completely at peace will bear a reflection, but with the slightest touch of unrest or turmoil, the reflection will dissolve. So it is with me. If I long to see myself clearly, I must first find stillness within. I breathe into my worthiness. I align my energy with love and gratitude. I release what I no longer need to carry, and then release again. I connect to the movement of my body from its core, feel myself expand into my fingers and my toes. My reflection in the water shares space with the depths underneath. The sand, pebbles, fish, shells, all the life is at once beneath and within my reflection. When I see myself clearly, I see the depths, for everything beneath my surface shares in my beauty. I acknowledge where I have room to grow. Where my darkness lies. I look to the beauty of those I love, those who have shaped and built and carried my weight. Their kindness, their generosity, their brilliance is reflected back to me, through me, within me. All of the mirrors in the world are not reflections of me. They are here to show me how I see myself. I am worthy. I am worthy. I am enough.




n mi ust j .

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can snap up legs. The venom in a rattlesnake bite or scorpion sting will shut down a healthy heart in a matter of hours. But only one of nature’s killers sends my adrenal glands into overdrive. There, on the handle of my car door, with yellow and black stripes saying “Don’t mess with me,” it menacingly waits. It may have been a honeybee or a hornet or a wasp, but regardless, it was a member of superfamily Apoidea. The lump that lodges in my throat when I spot an apoid identifies me: I am an apiphobic. I am afraid of bees. Most would call that fear ridiculous; bees only harm those who won’t leave them alone. Perhaps true, but I see only a lightning-fast assailant, nimble and unpredictable, whipping around my head, too quick to see, its location given away only by the unmistakable buzz past my ear. To see or hear one bee is to be warned of possibly hundreds more. In a swarm, they operate more efficiently and precisely than any army. They split my attention when on the offense, dive-bombing my face, distracting me while others plant themselves on my exposed arm skin. Now my arms flail wildly, trying to swat these little gargoyles out of the sky to no avail as they deftly dodge and wrap around each swing. I’ve given up any hope of conquering or out-maneuvering my apoid foes. When one approaches, I pray my stillness will HARKS AND CROCODILES


discourage it from getting closer—though I’ve been told they can smell fear. Once they breach the foot-deep barrier I call “personal space,” I abandon ship. I’ve flung myself out of patio chairs, run out into busy streets, and (when I was much younger) retreated indoors and refused to re-emerge. They can have the outdoors. I’m vocal about my opposition to outdoor seating; the last thing I’d like to confront during my meal is a wasp curious about my lunch. More embarrassing is the inevitable mockery from my friends: “It’s just a bee, chill The fear out. It won’t bother you.” Hovering I feel is around my head does bother me. instinctual, I’ve been stung on many occasions: At age three, I once infringed on a hona defense eybee while stomping around the yard mechanism barefoot; when I was eleven, my brothagainst er invoked the wrath of a colony of yellow jackets after shaking their nest; and perceived when I was thirteen, a wasp decided threats. it was not my lucky day, stinging me in the hand unprovoked. These events serve as rationale for my phobia, though I tend to exaggerate the actual pain I experienced.

For clarification, I do not hate bees or wasps (I do hate yellow jackets). I fear them. I respect them, for they truly are a force of nature. Of the honeybee, in particular, I think fondly, for not only does it serve through pollination, its last measure of defense requires the sacrifice of its own humble life, all to desperately protect the colony. I fear the sting, and by proxy the honeybee, though I would wish no ill upon their species. The fear I feel is instinctual, a defense mechanism against perceived threats. It takes effort, however, to rewire my brain differently. The mantra “they’re more scared of you than you of them” may never be proven, but I must at least be conscious that my phobia is biased. If I, and all

others who share the fear, endure the terrifying apoids, we enjoy the benefits of their tireless pollination. I stare at the apoid stuck to my door handle and reaching deep into my stomach for courage to muster, I get my hand close, closer still to the handle, whispering an apology to a tiny creature who cannot understand it. The apoid senses it and zips away from my car in a crooked pattern. A small victory, sure, but with each win, my confidence in the face of these fears grows. I used to be simply crippled by bees dancing around rose bushes along the sidewalk. Now, unless they’re particularly nosy, I take a deep breath and stride past. n

Caretto ’18 is chasing his dream in the City of Angels, where he hopes to one day create a TV show. Until then, he writes for fun about many things that fascinate him, including movies, high school, forgotten historical celebrities, and other members of his generation.






FRIEND OF MINE yet grieves her mother. I take her out for wine and let her talk and cry and talk. As we leave the restaurant, she tells me she almost did not accept my invitation. “I was afraid you’d try to cheer me up.” It’s not surprising: Cheering the person up is the default reaction by many people when confronted with grief or pain or suffering. During the long, hard slog of a very serious depression, when I would call out to friends for help stepping back from the edge, more often than not what came back were cheerful platitudes or earnest injunctions to put on a happy face. For a long time this reaction hurt me; I took it as evidence of indifference, at best. But gradually I realized what I was witnessing was neither indifference nor disregard nor even emotional obliviousness. What it was, was fear. Other people’s emotions are scary. Almost as scary as our own. Emotions are universal but not their expression: Culture shapes how we display what we feel—and how we feel about that display. In America, the most socially acceptable emotions are happiness and anger, though not necessarily in that order and not necessarily for everyone. Anger in men is acceptable, even prized; anger in women isn’t. Ditto for white people versus people who are not white. In class we read Malcolm X’s “By any means necessary,” and the students cry, “He’s so angry!” We read Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!” and they say, “He’s so brave.” In any event, the lower-register emotions—sadness, disheartenment, despair—are especially frightening to many of us. I was not far into my midlife dating sojourn before realizing expressing an emotion deeper than eyelash-batting happiness was the quickest way to send most men running for the door. Since I am a writer and the writer’s job, I believe, is to look straight into the heart of what it means to be human in the world, and since emotions are intricately

connected to that human experience, this made dating challenging. “You seem to feel things more deeply than other people,” one guy told me. “It’s terrifying.” Another guy asked me straight out: “Do you feel your feelings?” “Of course,” I said. “Don’t you?” He shrugged. “I don’t think I do.” To say there’s a price to pay for all this fear of feelings seems obvious. For this particular guy, the price was an experience of living so dampened it was like having coffee with a wet sock. For relationships (of all kinds) it means a kind of superficial skating along the top: It’s all texting “You seem to and cross-monologues and feel things more having a beer while we root for the team, and then people deeply than go home and cry in the dark. other people. For society the price is higher It’s terrifying.” still: Setting aside the very real issue of gun lust, it seems clear that a toxic inability to deal with pain and disappointment contributes to America’s epidemic of gun violence, in all its terrible forms. In her essay “Poetry Is Not a Luxury,” Audre Lorde argues that Western privileging of intellect over emotion serves to uphold patriarchy and white supremacy. The way out of the trap, she says, is not through our heads but through our hearts. “As we come into touch with our own, ancient, non-European consciousness of living as a situation to be experienced and interacted with, we learn more and more to cherish our feelings and to respect those hidden sources of our power from where true knowledge, and therefore lasting action, comes.” Feel your feelings. No one else can. n

McLarin ’86 is a novelist, essayist, and playwright and an associate professor at Emerson College. Her latest book, Womanish: A Grown Black Woman Speaks on Love and Life, will be published in October.







while not paying attention I knew I wanted to go to college, particularly to study as I was playing a game of football, I collidpolitical science, and I felt the opportunity wouldn’t ed with a friend. My hand puffed up immemanifest itself unless I enrolled in school full time. I diately, and a visit to the doctor confirmed wanted to be in an environment where discussion of what I felt: It was broken. big ideas would be valued and encouraged. But I was I was working as a field cable technician. With a brohesitant, and my hesitation around applying to college ken hand, there would be no climbing telephone poles, was continually amplified by an inner voice that said you no lifting cable reels, and no hammer-drilling. My boss might not be good enough. helped me activate short-term disability and gave me inI grew up in a blue-collar family. My dad painted structions to keep him updated as I healed. houses for a living, and as a kid, I spent summers carrying his ladders, cleaning paintbrushes, and filling pails It was a pensive drive home from work. What now? with paint and stain. The greatest lessons of my childSince leaving high school, I had always worked with my hood were not academic in hands, first as a Marine, later nature but focused instead as a home renovator, and fi“It’s okay, I’m not coming back. nally as a cable tech. Yet over on how to work quickly and I’m going back to school.” the last few years, I found efficiently, to do the job well myself reading more and —I was always taught that more. I filled my nights and weekends reading, especially your work quality is a representation of yourself—and about the Middle East. I was just a kid when I was demove on to the next. The thought of becoming a fullployed to Iraq in 2005. But I wanted to learn as much time student was attractive, but it would require a kind as possible about the history of the region, as well as the of work I was unaccustomed to. implications of prolonged war and of the likelihood that So, it became a matter of wondering whether or not I the U.S. would maintain a military presence. belonged in college, whether or not I could contribute


something. I had been out of school a long time and had no point of reference for what to expect: I would be the first in my family attempting to attain a bachelor’s degree. The questions and excuses I gave myself, at points, became paralyzing: If it doesn’t work out, will you be able to find another job in your field? You’ll be almost a decade older than the rest of your classmates; nobody will be able to relate. You’ve never prioritized academics previously, so what makes you think that things will be different now? My hand was healing slowly. In keeping with my boss’ instructions, I kept him updated. One afternoon I called him, and he told me that he might have to post my position, as it had been quite some time and the doctor wouldn’t release me to return to work. Immediately, I responded: “It’s okay, I’m not coming back. I’m going back to school.” The words leapt from my mouth. I hadn’t even started applying to any colleges, but I knew it was the right thing to do. In retrospect, I realized that the fear I felt was replaced

by a fear of regret, of looking back and saying I didn’t take that chance. I came to realize that I had accomplished a lot. I knew that in classroom discussions, I would bring the insights of a former Marine who had lived through the consequences of foreign policy. That one sentence—“I’m going back to school”— changed my life. Nervousness defined my initial few weeks at Duke. I had read about imposter syndrome, and each day in class I expected would be the one when I would be outed as a fraud. It was my first foray in the everyday world of an elite university, after all, and I wasn’t quite sure if I had what it took to truly succeed at that level. I was quiet during discussions, but eventually—because the professor called on me—I had to say something. When I jumped into the conversation, I felt a sense of relief: This was what I had been looking for, the opportunity to combine my perspective, my life, with academic study. My hard work had brought me to the right place. n

Bonin A.M. ’14 is an economics and history instructor, an education consultant, and a veteran of the Iraq War. He has contributed to publications such as The Atlantic and The Wall Street Journal.





An Austin native, Hooks ’18 graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors and Highest Distinction in English. Recently, her work garnered the Anne Flexner Award for Poetry, the Council for the Arts Award for Excellence, and the Academy of American Poets Prize. More of her poetry is available in APSU’s Red Mud Review and Z Publishing’s North Carolina’s Best Emerging Poets.

Daphne in the Dark will you tread softly if you go? will you leave me awake with anxious ears clinging to your jacket’s rustle a prophecy in a tongue i never learned will you deprive me of conclusion as the door glides into the frame’s embrace with nothing but a sigh will you leave me open and paralyzed while your cologne vanishes in stagnant air while i, bewildered, replay again how steadily you drew me in made me feel the warmth


Remember Me? you devoured me, an apricot did you find the stone amidst that red-black blood bubbling from the pits your incisors bore i consumed you, a wafer firmly placed, dissolving on my tongue you vanished into dark caverns

Eurydice’s Hymn i discovered i could spell anything

i can hear you

as long

still pulsing in the velvet sound –

as i

oh yes, remember me?

started with the letters of your name so i follow you with my head down and sneakers on and now only one song remains: don’t ask if he is true, if he is certain, if he is here, don’t ask






to this recent surprise: a copperhead enjoying the late-day sun on her front stoop. She grabbed a hoe and chopped it into little copperhead parts. She was moved to silently apologize for violating nature’s creation. But after all, her fear-related mechanism had kicked in. That story pops out of my memory bank, creepily, every time I wander in my quasi-woodsy backyard. To be human is to be fearful—one aspect of a conscious engagement with the world. To be human is also to be curious, including curiosity about fear. Duke’s Kevin LaBar and Ahmad Hariri, professors of psychology and neuroscience, are well-positioned to address that curiosity. Visiting with them in the fearsomely hulking Levine Science Research Center, I found them remarkably cheerful in talking about fear. They see fear as a necessary emotion and a necessary experience, since, of course, experience instructs us. The challenge is for us to control our fear responses so that they’re adaptive—so that they help award us meaningful, rather than limited, lives. Fear may be everywhere, but it manifests in a wide spectrum of human behavior. Anxiety, the two experts explained, is closely related to fear. But anxiety can be thought FRIEND CAME HOME


of as a more general apprehension about some possible future event. And anxiety disorders are more generalized. So I’m anxious, though perhaps not fearful, on the occasion of International Asteroid Day, when there’s a lot of speculation about the ultimate high-impact scenario. As for snakes: They’re simply fear-inspiring. Hariri talked about individuals driven by “high reward,” even in the face of threats—seeking, say, the thrill of jumping off a diving platform. My favorite mini-doc, Ten-Meter Tower, plays with that theme; the Sweden-based documentary tracks people as they confront a ten-meter, or thirtythree-foot, diving board. All of them hesitate, observing the obvious—“It’s a long way down!” But they also respond to social pressure (and to the pressure of the camera), as people on the pool deck shout, “You’ll be so happy afterward!” About 70 percent of the would-be divers made the jump. The non-jumpers showed a threat-mitigating mindset: the thought of landing with a painful splash, or worse. Extremes in the fear-response spectrum can be debilitating. But as a society, Hariri told me, we’re helped by individual differences. We want the person who says, Let’s hurl ourselves over to the next valley, don’t you think it could have nicer streams and fields? And we want the person who says,

Hold on, what if another clan has claim to that next valley, and what if they have more rocks and spears than we do? There you have the risk-taker and the risk-avoider, each with a different way of processing potential threats. LaBar and Hariri are interested in a particular aspect of the brain, the amygdala, that’s all about processing potential threats. It’s best to think of it, they said, not so much as a discrete structure but rather as a circuit, or a collection of neurons and their connections, that supports associative learning. That is, it helps train the brain to recognize a threat and to fire up the appropriate action. The amygdala does all of that first by capturing direct input from the senses. It might process a faint but ominous growling sound from nearby bushes and tell the body that it’s time to release a bunch of stress hormones. Those stress hormones signal, essentially, “danger

posed to a woodsy walking trail. And nothing bad happens. Nothing snaky. That fear-based aversion may not have gone away completely. But it’s diminished to the point that you’re no longer associating the great outdoors with a gruesome encounter. All of which doesn’t erase the fact that there are triggers in our evolutionary history. Hariri referred me to a study in which six-month-old infants, shown pictures of snakes and spiders, consistently reacted with larger pupils—a sign of focused attention. They reacted more moderately to images of flowers and fish. But it’s a complicated picture, he told me. With those agitated infants, we might not be seeing full-fledged fear responses. Rather, we might be seeing a fearbased predisposition to certain stimuli, a response that crystallizes over time and with direct or vicarious experiences. Back when we lived in small clans, Hariri said, some of those threat-tinged experiences might have been with someone unfamiliar. Now, living as we do in a large human society with intricate, complex networks of individuals, fear of the stranger is not driver of ahead, take evasive action.” They The fear memory may be embedded, aourhealthy behavior. Howactually do more than wave the ever unhealthy, fear warning flag. They might direct but over time, it can be overridden. of “the Other” is blood flow to muscles used for running, and to decision-making centers of the brain. an easy avenue for demagoguery: We tend to see a potential Still, you want the amygdala to defer to the higher authreat in the “out group” that somehow is not like us. A lot of thority and moderating influence of the prefrontal cortex— research, LaBar told me, shows that the range of fear responses includes clinging to a group identity. That identity might guiding you against tossing tiny pebbles at the menacingly be expressed by race, language, or nationhood—indicators growling creature, an action that might end your individual of the “in group.” evolutionary line. As Hariri put it, this “primitive, instinctive system” isn’t right for every circumstance. Our many global interconnections, then, may be playing The amygdala helps update your memory bank, so that in on our fears. At this point in our evolutionary history, there the future, you know enough to avoid walking by the same are fear incubators in our patterns of living, including our creature-containing bushes. But depositing specific fears in speedy communications, our forms of transport, and even the memory bank has a downside, which LaBar has explored our dense urban environments. Employing the local version with MRI scanners. He’s fitted research subjects with steof the Star Trek holodeck, the Duke Immersive Virtual Enreoscopic goggles and presented three-dimensional virtual vironment, or DiVE, LaBar and his team have programmed worlds—basically immersive movies—into which snakes or avatars to approach research participants at the same distance spiders, or more innocuous objects, might be inserted. One as an airplane seat: first in an upright position; then in a reclining position. As the encounter gets closer, the perceived key finding: As humans, we have very context-sensitive fear threat becomes scarily imminent, and the “startle reflexes,” as responses. What happens when that subject “revisits” the LaBar calls them, kick in: a scrunched-up face, muscle tensame virtual environment—maybe a wooded scene that earlier featured a virtual snake—later on? Even if the onetime sion, increased blood flow, sweat glands going into overdrive. threat is absent, the memory is embedded. His particular interest there is the so-called “recliner rage” The fear memory may be embedded, but over time, it that afflicts us in-flight. More broadly, he’s measuring a direct and immediate threat suggested by violations of personal can be overridden. That offers hope, said LaBar, for treating post-traumatic stress disorder; there, the fear-inspiring space. Snakes on a plane are scary, as classic cinema tells us. episode is ever-present. Imagine you have a fear of snakes. So are tightly packed people on a plane. The memory of a snaky run-in is tied up with a particular With that overview of some experiments, LaBar and Hariri left me with a lesson: We know a lot about fear and the context or environment. Your fear has become generalized to brain. We also know that the world—not just its supply of woodsy walking trails. Then imagine going through a series snakes and spiders—is increasingly fear-inspiring. n of simulations in virtual reality. You’re exposed and re-ex-






HE FIRST HORROR MOVIE to scare the living daylights out of me was The Wizard of Oz. It was also the first movie I saw without the protection of parents—my older brother (nine, at the time) was given the solemn duty of getting me safe to Oz and back again (within the confines of the Memrose Theatre—probably long since bulldozed—in Norfolk, Virginia, in the ’50s.) The tornado that opens the movie I managed uneasily, but okay; ditto the threatening trees (“I’d turn back if I were you!”) and the Wicked Witch of the West herself, keeping track of our heroes’ progress in her ominous crystal ball. But then, when I least expected horror, and all of a sudden, there it was: winged monkeys. Monkeys—with wings. Why did they And, weirder, all of them dressed like bellhops, as they plummeted down in droves. Why were the monkeys dressed like bellhops? More important: Why did they have wings? How my big bro handled a six-year-old in the grip of utter panic, I don’t recall. I probably spent the rest of the movie under my seat—though I must’ve popped up long enough to see the Wicked Witch melting, at this fiendish movie’s climax. That inexplicable death unnerved me even more than the monkeys. Water can melt you? Bottom line: This movie was full of things (angry trees, flying monkeys, old ladies dissolving) that were plainly and simply wrong. Which is one of the defining characteristics—I later learned—of horror movies: category confusion, the blurring of boundaries, binaries breaking down. Living/ dead, human/non-human, sane/insane—horror movies challenge fundamental distinctions we cling to, trying to make any sense of a baffling world. And these disturbing questions were there, from the earliest days of cinema: Is Dr. Caligari a medical miracle man, or a raving loon? Is the Golem a shambling savior of the ghetto, or its worst nightmare?

The template for the horror-movie plot is simple: Man meets Monster. Chaos ensues. Order is restored, or it’s not. The threat the hapless humans meet keeps shifting, over time and space—though often enough the threat is a then-current version of the Other: from East European immigrants (in the late-Victorian Dracula) to the suspiciously friendly white liberals in the recent hit movie Get Out. And in some of the greatest horror flicks, this confrontation—Man vs. Monster—builds to a moment of nerve-shredding recognition: that the Other we’re so terrified of meeting isn’t so “other.” In fact, in the brilliant ’50s film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the monsters look exactly like your mother or your Uncle Ira...except they aren’t Uncle Ira, in some uncanny way you can’t quite explain. Human beings are being replaced with identical-looking pod have wings? persons. And this transformation is so suggestive, of so many dreadfully plausible scenarios (are the pod-people brain-washed Communists? Or conforming bourgeois Americans?) that the film’s producers—worried about how truly disturbing the movie was—insisted on a new, more hopeful ending. (Not to mention a new voice-over narration that climaxed with the movie’s most risible line: “I never knew the true meaning of fear…until I kissed Becky….”) Becky fell asleep—and that’s when she was changed: She’d become a pod-person. In the film’s original ending, the protagonist flees the horror of kissing pod-Becky, ending up screaming on a busy freeway, trying to stop the unheeding cars racing by in the night: “You’re next! You’re NEXT!” That may be the ultimate horror of frightening movies—to become that terrible thing you’re most afraid of. And maybe that’s why I was so freaked out by The Wizard of Oz. To quote the infamous summary of a newspaper’s TV listing: “Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets, and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.” n

Winner of a 2005 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Play (Spatter Pattern, Broadway Play Publishing), Bell has been a recipient of Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and NEA fellowships, and he currently teaches play- and screenwriting and a course on horror movies in the theater studies department.


2009 Getty Images

Got to give us what we want (uh) Gotta give us what we need (hey) Our freedom of speech is freedom or death



T WAS 1989 and the most sweltering summer on record, and I’d already fallen in love with hip-hop. Through cheap foam headphones I had taped together, I listened incessantly to MC Lyte, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, KRS-One, 3rd Bass, Salt-N-Pepa, Eric B. & Rakim, repeatedly auto-reversing the cassettes in my Sony Walkman until I knew the buttons by feel and didn’t have to look to rewind or fast forward. I read the liner notes. I memorized the lyrics. I extrapolated meaning. I obsessed over all things hip-hop. As both a witness and a participant, I was highly aware of


how negatively the world responded to hip-hop’s growing influence, even as it crept into the mainstream, one commercial at a time. Older folks, steeped in ’70s R&B and disco, bristled at the thumping bass lines, their ears struggling for the melody. It was too ghetto. Too street. Too black. They said it was only a passing fad. They didn’t like the lyrics. They didn’t like the clothes. People were afraid of it, all of it. That only made me love it more. The eruption of creativity from black and brown kids was not just a movement but an ethos and a code that was quickly spreading. Through the lens

‘Cause I’m black and I’m proud I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps

Mika Väisänen

of hip-hop I learned to interpret the world and to understand the priorities and concerns of and connection to people who looked like me. This was for us, by us. And so what, if “they” didn’t like it. And it was that summer, too, that I was introduced to Public Enemy’s “Fear of a Black Planet.” Got to give us what we want (uh) Gotta give us what we need (hey) Our freedom of speech is freedom or death The title alone spun my head. I had not considered a black planet, but Chuck D gave my young mind permission to imagine such a place. The first single off the album, “Fight the Power,” ignited my spirit. The summer anthem topped the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing. The screaming sirens, the frenetic horns, the urgent, insistent call to collective action: It was irresistible—even scary—and purposely so. The chaos of the production activated my burgeoning activism. What could I do on my end to fight the power? What we need is awareness, we can’t get careless You say what is this? My beloved let’s get down to business I felt part of something much larger. This was Black America’s CNN, as Chuck D famously described rap music, giving me information about “the powers that be,” and an unequivocal response to fight back—against injustice, poverty, police brutality, and all the things threatening the community. His voice thundered with maturity and a certainty that we must “fight the powers that be.” It also helped that Chuck D was a little older than some of the other popular rappers at the time. He had seniority and, it appeared to me, the wisdom to lead the revolution. The video was evidence I was not the only one so moved by him. Flavor Flav, the group’s hype man, whipped the crowd into a frenzy, underlining what Chuck said with rubbery dance moves and his ubiquitous clock letting everyone know

what time it was. The military precision of S1W, Public Enemy’s security detail outfitted in paramilitary uniforms, conveyed some organization under the chaos. Turning on their heels they moved in sync, a foil to Flav’s unrehearsed adlibs. ‘Cause I’m black and I’m proud I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps The album cover—featuring the group’s insignia of a black man in a B-Boy Stance in the crosshairs—was a metaphor for what was happening to hip-hop. The black planet about to eclipse planet Earth drove the point home. We knew at this time that all life on Earth originated in Africa; the whole planet had black roots. Yet, these were the Bush years, crack was taking its toll, and New York’s melting pot was about to implode. Racial tensions were high. Being black was hazardous. At that time, there was a sense that things would get much worse before they got better. Black and brown kids had a lot of reasons to be afraid. We trusted Chuck D as he issued mandates to guide us over these troubled waters—“Don’t Believe the Hype,” “Can’t Truss It,” “Welcome to the Terrordome,” and my favorite, “Bring the Noise.” Anti-government, anti-establishment, power to the people. He rapped about the prison industrial complex, black masculinity, corporations, media. I consumed the album’s dense lyrics, track by track, its truths revealed with each listen. Chuck D’s version of a black planet was empowering, safe, funky—but most important, it told the truth, uniting the experience of hip-hop kids. To me, the “fear” in the album’s title was a bit sensationalistic—there was nothing to be afraid of. Chuck D’s black planet is not scary at all, but a refuge, where we could re-imagine ourselves. What we got to say (yeah) Power to the people no delay Make everybody see In order to fight the powers that be


Jackson is the director of communications for the Duke Council on Race and Ethnicity. DUKE MAGAZINE





EING AN INTROVERT can complicate life. The big day—my last Duke class meeting; it was my As a teen, sometimes I was afraid to introfinal semester—brought many fears. My knees weren’t duce myself to a stranger or to ask a young knocking, they were missing. Would I present convincingly? Could I answer questions effectively? I lost my woman for a date. At Duke, the frosh-faces breakfast three times before leaving my residence. picture book struck fear in my heart whenever I phoned The classroom was nearly full and included visitors a women’s dorm. I was sure that picture book hung by who had heard of the controversy. I felt excited but a bit every hall telephone and that while I was on hold, a nervous as I stepped up to place my notes on the lecwoman was quickly looking me up in it. tern. As I surveyed the audience, some faces were warm, Shyness and fear, of course, can also hamper public others skeptical. The situation seemed tense, with obspeaking. Since my career has involved lecturing worldwide, people sometimes are surprised or skeptical to servers eager to see what would transpire. In presenting, hear of my introversion. Experiences at Duke helped I used contemporary and historical examples. The audience asked perceptive questions. me learn to deal with those fears. Presenting in a tense Near the end, Gavins said he felt like the biblical situation during my final Duke class in January 1971 King Agrippa who, upon hearing the apostle Paul’s taught me invaluable lessons. speech, said, “You’ve almost persuaded me to become Duke’s 1968 Silent Vigil and 1969 Allen Building a Christian.” takeover spawned a black studies program that informed “And now,” Gavins said to my already firm dedication me and the class, “As Agrippa to racial equality. My history “You’ve almost persuaded me did with Paul, let us proceed professor, the late Raymond to become a Christian.” with your execution: What Gavins, was in his first year would you do if you got to in 1970-71 and later became heaven and discovered that Jesus Christ was black?” I an icon in his field. I appreciated his intriguing course was on the spot! (about pre-Civil War African-American U.S. history), My response wasn’t original with me, but I don’t rebut we clearly disagreed on one fundamental point. member preparing it: “Jesus was of Semitic descent; his An African-American scholar, he felt white Christians skin was probably closer in pigmentation to yours than had caused many or most problems blacks faced in this to mine. But the important thing is not whether his country. A white student, I acknowledged atrocious behavior, from white ministers supporting slavery to the skin was black or white, but that his blood was red and Klan burning crosses. But, I maintained, these people he shed it so I could be forgiven.” I don’t know whether weren’t really following Jesus; many white believers that answer satisfied him. He didn’t respond; instead he championed racial equality, and their views resonated turned to the class and began to talk about our final with me. Our frequent class discussions were cordial exam. but had sizzle and conviction. That day, I learned about managing public-speaking Gavins’ argument was especially pointed one mornfears. Preparation (knowing my audience and topic), ing late in the semester, as he mentioned two historical practice, and—for me—prayer became essentials. race-related problems. Each time as he attributed their Gavins and I spoke a few times in subsequent years, cause to “white Christians,” he gestured toward me. always pleasantly. We each felt we had moderated our I respectfully suggested again that he was criticizing opinions since 1971. not genuine Christian practice but a caricature. This I’ve been grateful to travel the globe communicating time I asked whether he would let me take a session to in classrooms, ballrooms, boardrooms, chapter rooms, present a biblical perspective on racism. locker rooms, embassies, and military bases and via TV “Oh, so you want equal time, do you?” he inquired. and radio on significant themes. I still get jitters, and In response, I read from my notes his statement from not every at-bat is a home run. But as I face audiences, the first class day: “We want to be open-minded in this I often recall the formative lessons about fear I learned course and consider all viewpoints.” He agreed to give that morning. I remain grateful to Professor Gavins and me the final session. my classmates for helping me learn them. n

Wright ’71 is a writer and lecturer who has spoken on six continents.







career juggling three elements: political commitment, personal ambition, and—when necessary—danger. For a young, activist reporter in a hurry, the trick was acknowledging the risks inherent in that mix—and managing the fear inherent in putting yourself in harm’s way. In search of career-making bylines, in 1973 I traveled on my own to strife-ridden Northern Ireland. For six weeks, members of Sinn Féin (the “Official” Irish Republican Army’s political wing) guided me and handed me off. At least once, a bomb exploded in a building I had just left, yet with youthful arrogance I managed to push the fear away. One night in Belfast, a British army patrol lifted me from the front stoop of a Falls Road squat and took me to a warehouse where a military intelligence officer interrogated me. For some reason I wasn’t afraid, and I brazened my way out.  My big break came in 1974, when a young black woman BEGAN MY PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISM

Dawson, Georgia, which the civil rights movement had largely bypassed. Here, the sheriff’s word was law, which was always in my mind. Tensions and hostility ran high. I’d do my initial reporting, without the formal affiliation (or protection) of a large news organization. At times I felt frightened—alone and exposed—but it also was exhilarating. I managed to push the fear away because of the importance of what I was going to write. That changed on November 3, 1979. Radical, anti-racist activists engaged in a protest march, including half a dozen Duke graduates and one former instructor, were shot down by self-proclaimed Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen. The event was quickly dubbed the Greensboro Massacre. After a New York Times national desk editor alerted me, I sped from Hillsborough to the blood-spattered waiting room of Moses Cone Hospital. Behind the emergency room’s swinging doors, one of my near-classmates, Mike

I borrowed a bullet-proof vest from campus security and wore it discreetly under my raincoat. named Joan (pronounced “Jo-Ann”) Little faced first-degree murder charges in the small, eastern North Carolina town of Washington. She said she killed her white jailer in the midst of a sexual assault. While Little awaited trial, I went to the small, riverside town, where I researched and reported the first national pieces on the case. Ultimately, she was acquitted by a jury in less than ninety minutes.  The Little case established my career template for the rest of the decade. I would hear about a case somewhere in the Southeast, either from local press accounts or from defense lawyers specializing in cases involving racial injustice, frequently with the possibility of the death penalty. My motivation: Maybe by bringing these cases into the national media spotlight I could derail innocent defendants from the fast track to Death Row.  So I would drive—alone—to small, out-of-the-way, unreconstructed towns like Tarboro, North Carolina, or

Nathan ’69, a doctor, lay dead. At another hospital, Paul Bermanzohn M.D. ’74 clung to life. This time the violence was personal and not a journalistic abstraction. It shook me. Days after I filed for the Times amidst the waiting-room trauma, my next story would be a funeral procession for some of the slain through the deserted, rain-slick streets of Greensboro, where tensions remained high. Solemn survivors led the procession; some carried unloaded rifles, while armed National Guardsmen lined the sidewalks. I was determined to cover the event, but I feared for my safety. So, with the help of Duke Student Union director and social activist Jake Phelps, I borrowed a bullet-proof vest from campus security and wore it discreetly under my raincoat.  Bombs, backwoods law enforcement, a bloody massacre, a bullet-proof vest—each evokes memories of fear on the job. Stoicism, suppression, and altruism are some of the ways I’ve learned to manage that fear. I’m still learning. n

Pinsky ’70 is the author of, most recently, Met Her on the Mountain: A Forty-Year Quest to Solve the Appalachian Cold-Case Murder of Nancy Morgan (John Blair).






MONG THE REASONS I chose to attend Duke in comments from friends-to-be were completely unanticipated, 1990 was the portrait of diversity it advertised as a given the idealism broadly espoused. There were additional comments about the “homo house” Epworth and people being gratestrength. Racism in Southwest Arkansas in the ’80s ful queers were quarantined there. For one living cautiously and was reminiscent of a ’60s segregation that had lingered with resilience. The complicity of those who still practiced silently at the intersection of black and queer identities, “Duke’s it, as well as the apathy of many victimized by it, left me cold. Vision” was aspirational at best, cosmetic and laughable at worst. I couldn’t imagine a warmer way to be welcomed than to It was immediately safer to revert to default opinions of people who were different from me. I recalled stereotypical ideas have one of my homegirls speak at the first-year convocation. about “whitefolk” taught to me by untrusting ancestors: “They Maya Angelou was from Stamps, Arkansas (just a zip code away all the same…racism runs in they blood,” my grandpa once from Taylor, where I grew up), and I had intimate knowledge of said. No white students spoke against racial intolerance; no where that voice originated: I knew the scent of chicken coops, straight students allied themselves with the one or two queer the feel of dew on bare feet, and the taste of honeysuckle. I also students bold enough to speak up. And I waited for them to knew the hardness of the seat at the outhouse in 1990, and that speak, knowing there must have been someone at the meeting many townships were still segregated. who was as disappointed and angry as I was, but perhaps stronAngelou spoke to us about the value of difference, the power ger and more confident. I waited. Nothing. in understanding others, and how much of our educational experience would be about living in harmony with each other. At So my vision of Duke was instantly transformed from an Angelouian utopia eighteen, I was to a world of too naïve to noHomophobia was, ironically, among the few things about tice the idealistic white vs. black which both black and white students seemed to align. humanism of her and straight vs. speech and not gay. And the savvy enough to be critical of it. Catchwords like “diversity” and stubborn antagonism of such a dichotomy haunted my idealism until I found the courage to create the world I wanted to “empathy” still held meaning in the commitment to learning at see at Duke. I had to realize that something stronger and more Duke and beyond. Angelou said much of what we’d learn would stable than a university was what I hoped to build. Hope was to come from people who look, think, and believe differently than be that glass house. And though I sometimes wondered whether we did. She urged us to find sameness in the differences. Duke was worthy of such hope, I realized that “Duke’s Vision” The warmth of her speech would prove to be temporary. Afterward, resident advisers conducted meetings to promote “Duke’s had to be more of a call to action than an ideological ambition. Vision” and discuss the speech. No more than a few minutes after I initially retreated to the space defined by race, having been our first meeting began, several white students voiced anger at told all my life that the black community at predominantly black students who’d “taken spots in the class” from their friends. white institutions served as critical primary support. I even became president of the Black Student Alliance, gaining the trust It was said: “I came to Duke to become a doctor, not to learn and admiration of my black peers—among them some of the about other cultures,” as if the two are mutually exclusive. These 36

most brilliant and impressive minds I would come to experience at Duke. I was the first student at race-based protests and the last to leave, and yet, even at the protests, I felt that I wasn’t fully there. There were other parts of me reduced to nothingness in spite of racial solidarity we shared. Homophobia was, ironically, among the few things about which both black and white students seemed to align. In the middle of my first year, I’d gain a roommate while at Duke who’d challenge the disorientation I felt at Duke. Adam was a Jewish kid from Chicago with a fuzzy blond afro and incredible intellect. As different as our backgrounds were, we discovered our mutual hatred of rapper Vanilla Ice and cafeteria Jell-O early on. We were both serious students and maintained a climate of respect and support as roommates, a condition far more important than how he or I may have identified politically. Adam understood, without my ever needing to articulate it, that being poor, queer, and black created significant challenges at Duke. He provided a space where I didn’t have to deal with fear of difference, and in doing so he opened my eyes to the probability of others like him. Because of my connection with Adam, I would find some of my most cherished friendships among students in Duke’s supposed mainstream. The isolation I felt forced me to reassess those I’d regarded as enemies or friends at face value. There was Circe: a sassy, visionary Nuyorican whose lasting friendship was

rooted in sharing experiences with dating Latino men. There was Dave: a proud conservative by most measures but whose criticisms of affirmative action were quite similar to my own, even though we differed about the solution. There was Christina: an Asian woman who was relentless in her advocacy for social justice and racial harmony beyond the totalizing black/ white divide. There were Todd and Jackson: two straight men I loved dearly because their proximity and friendship meant challenging the toxic masculinity that was the default for most guys. Long after “Duke’s Vision” died, there were examples of its pure intent in the relationships I formed at Duke. These relationships were not easy to form. They required me to face a lot of fears and anticipate that people can surprise you. It’s rigorous work, but it has been critical in my achievement and leadership beyond Duke. Those who take on this “too rigorous” work continue it because we have discovered the indescribable beauty of relationships with people we may have assumed were adversaries. Our search for each other becomes a border-refuge—a welcome space where searching spirits get rejuvenated when culture war burnout sets in. It is like Maya Angelou said in her speech: “You will find poems in the faces of your friends. Look in those faces.” I would only add that poems are also flowing from the tongues of many who may appear to be your enemy. And I am happy that my eye for beautiful poetry was not terribly discriminating. n

West ’94 is an educator, activist, poet, and hip-hop artist. He received his A.B. from Duke in philosophy, and master’s degrees in philosophy and interdisciplinary studies at The New School in New York and Stanford University, respectively. He resides in Cincinnati, where he leads Teach For America’s LGBTQ+ Community Initiative. DUKE MAGAZINE



Bill Fick ’86, printmaker, lecturing fellow of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, and assistant director for visual and studio arts at the new Rubenstein Arts Center, makes monsters. In fact, his Chamber of Chills installation featured more than 500 linocuts and screenprints of werewolves, zombies, skulls, and demons covering the walls and floor of a gallery and paying homage to the horror comics of the 1950s. Here, he explains why he likes to keep things creepy.


Y REASON FOR MAKING monsters is pretty simple and somewhat superficial. I’m very interested in cartoons and characters, especially ones with very expressive, eye-catching features, and monsters provide some of the best examples. Drawing mangled skin, bulging

Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem NC

blood-shot eyes, big sharp teeth, and furrowed brows allows for expressive mark-making and bold graphic gestures. These grotesque characters conjure many different emotions. On one level, fear, anxiety, terror; on another, sadness, pity, sorrow; on a third, humor and silliness. In the case of the Chamber of Chills installation, I created an immersive environment (a “chamber”) that was wallpapered with many

repeating monster images. These weren’t particularly scary monsters. But when surrounded by them, the viewer was forced to process this cartoonish unreality. The responses varied, but in general folks were intrigued and amused. Comics fans were definitely into it, which was gratifying. I do get asked frequently whether I have lots of nightmares or whether I had a troubled youth—I don’t and didn’t. As to where this fascination with monsters comes from: I was born in Indonesia and grew up in Venezuela, where there are strong mask-making traditions that feature masks of creatures and monsters. My parents collected some and displayed them in our house. These captured my imagination as a kid, and as I got older, I was drawn to similar masks/cartoons, and eventually to creating my own. When I was in art school, I was interested in medieval art (and later art influenced by this work), which is loaded with grotesques, demons, and odd creatures. More recently (the last twenty years), I’ve gotten interested in pop-culture art forms that use monsters, like punk and heavy-metal graphics, circus/ sideshow posters, and book illustrations, along with comics. After exploring these kinds of images for almost thirty years, I’ve learned that making pictures that connect (one way or another) with people is paramount. I want the viewer to remember the work; monsters generally leave a lasting impression. n






was to speak—and student activists, frustrated with the the moment particularly well. I slow pace of change across campus, wanted to spark a remember shaky hands and picking at the holes in conversation. I was scared before I got involved, and I my jeans. I remember making small talk with the nice was scared all the way through. Afterward, I was so scared alumni around me. It almost made me feel bad for that I sat in the grass of the quad, watching the annuwhat we were about to do. al Native American Student Alliance powwow without I remember right after, gathering in the Mary Lou talking, wanting my mom. I called my boyfriend, and Williams Center and sitting on the ground and letting my words broke in my throat. He let me cry the air come out of me for the first time in until I was done. days. I was raised And when I was done, I stood up and went What I know about the part in the middle not to call on with my day. I met a friend at the Nashis mostly from videos. There is a man flipping too much er Museum, turned my phone off, and tried me off and yelling, “F--- you!” There is another man, yelling to my friend Razan, who desperately not to talk about the light-headattention to ed fear that consumed me. I interviewed her stands tall in her hijab. He says, “Go back to myself and in the library’s Link recording studio for my your country!” to trust the podcast, and when she left I sat in the silent, There is the long, resounding chorus of foam-covered booth, breathing again. boos. There are rows and rows of people who system—to I wished I could turn off my brain. turn their backs on the stage while I film the be respectful It may seem odd that I would even parspeeches from the front. There is a mother and civil. ticipate in this act of protest if it struck so who turns her little boys around. They look much fear into me. It seems odd to me, too, younger than ten. in some ways. I was raised not to call too The disruption lasted about twelve minutes. It happened over Reunions Weekend, during an much attention to myself and to trust the system—to event called “The State of the University.” President Price be respectful and civil. And so I was afraid to make a DON’T REMEMBER


Bre Bradham/The Chr onicle

scene, afraid to be controversial, afraid because I knew how easily I could become hated. If I came home from school upset with a stubborn classmate, my grandma would stroke my hair and offer simple advice. “You catch more flies with honey,” she’d tell me, and I would laugh and think of squirting bottles of honey on all of my opponents. It was the kind of growing up that prefers you not ruffle feathers and makes you think that shouting gets you nowhere. But it was also an upbringing that taught me to seek justice. It taught me to question authority and feel deeply. It taught me to spend late nights holding close friends as they, reeling, recounted their assaults. It taught me to feel anger and pain as a full-time teacher cried, telling a room of Durham-based organizers about her recent eviction. It taught me to drop my homework every week at 2 p.m. and head to Community Empowerment Fund to meet with members struggling to find steady employment. And so, I maintained two fears, and I held them both at Duke. I was terrifyingly, stupefyingly scared of being hated. I read the comments on my Chronicle columns, the ones that called me a crybaby, and I knew that those words referred to a violent past—one that dismissed

women and Jews and students of color based on their mere existence. This fear threatened to keep me from action, threatened to keep me in my place. But there was another fear, too. This one felt like walking into a classroom and knowing you didn’t belong or hearing about the boy who screamed “F--- you, n-----!” at a black student in his dorm who still lives down the hall from her. It is what my disabled peers feel when they enter yet another building where they can’t even use the restroom and what you feel when you see your assaulter ordering food at the Brodhead Center and you have to walk in the other direction. I feared that in my complacency, I would become complicit. Most of the people in Page Auditorium on April 14 probably thought I hate Duke. Some readers may think so, too. But I still believe that love heals all wounds, and I love Duke more than any other place I’ve ever encountered. It is because I love it that I want to improve it. I learned that my two fears did not have to be in opposition—that I could face both without sacrificing who I was. Action and disruption are not at odds with love; they are acts of love. They get us talking. They help us face our fears. n

Abrams is a rising junior majoring in public policy and history with a certificate in documentary studies. She is spending her summer interning with the Southern Poverty Law Center.






recite an old adage that “diving is 99 percent mental.” For most of my career, I understood it in the context of sports psychology, supposing that peak performance is deBY NICK pendent upon entering the elusive “zone.” To others, the aphorism refers to the understandably unsettling prospect of hurling oneself into the air from various heights. In fact, it is often the fear of learning new dives that leads youngsters to hang up the towel (literally, in this case). Though divers and spectators alike agree that fear and diving are tightly related, it was not until almost the peak of my career that the exact relationship between the two—and the meaning of this diving proverb—became clear to me. My childhood fearlessness is one of the factors that led me to the sport. But my diving career really began before my first lesson or having set foot on a diving board—even before I knew how to swim. Around the age of two, my family visited some friends in Florida. They had a pool in their backyard, with which I became enamored. While the adults were busy chatting, I made a run for it and took the plunge, fully clothed. Our host, half-impressed, half-concerned, asked my parents whether I knew how to swim,


to which they responded, “No!” I was promptly retrieved from the depths by adults unaware of the glimpse they had into my athletic future. In the years to come, I was drawn to diving boards. There was the creMCCRORY scendo of adrenaline associated with climbing the stairs to the board, walking to its end, and planning the dive in my mind. The feelings of freedom, weightlessness, and almost disbelief while flying through the air; finally, the feelings of accomplishment and safety upon being consumed by the water. I taught myself the basics of diving at summer pools, constantly yearning to graduate to higher and higher boards. At the age of eight, I began formal training, and, from that point, diving was a central component of my identity. As I grew older, I became more attuned to the potential consequences of a dive gone awry. While I suffered occasional injuries from botched dives and gave myself a few frights, I never had any life-threatening, catastrophic events. Nevertheless, this type of mistake haunts the minds of all divers, even the most experienced. With excellent coaching, I pushed through these fears to learn a competitive list of dives from the 10-meter platform during my teen years—a rite of passage for all platform divers.

Under the water, I began processing what had just transpired, and upon surfacing, the silence of the dumbstruck crowd only confirmed the gravity of the mistake I had made.

At the 2010 USA Diving Winter National Championships, the competition to qualify for that year’s FINA Diving World Cup, I faced my biggest scare to date. In the third round of the finals of the 10-meter event, I hit the platform on a dive that was a favorite of mine—inward three-and-one-half somersaults tucked. The inward category of dives, which involves jumping from the board backwards and flipping toward the platform, requires fine control and awareness of your distance from the edge. Too much may make it difficult to complete your dive, while not enough can put you at serious risk. As I initiated my dive, everything seemed to be going according to plan; I completed my first flip on the ascent after an aggressive jump. As I continued rotating through the second flip, however, I felt my feet make unexpected contact with something very hard—I had struck the platform. With less than a tenth of a second to react, I ducked my head out of the way. I lost my sense of awareness in the air, and spiraled toward the water in an uncontrolled freefall. I landed feet first, completing four flips and failing the dive. Under the water, I began processing what had just transpired, and upon surfacing, the silence of the dumbstruck crowd only confirmed the gravity of

the mistake I had made. While I had not seriously injured myself, I felt shaken to the core by the realization that I was mere centimeters away from an entirely different outcome. In addition, I had all but taken myself out of the running for the U.S. World Cup team. However, the contest was not over yet. My coach asked whether I was all right, and I said yes. He told me I still had three dives left and that I knew what I was doing. In that moment, the doubt that had crept into my mind from the near miss was replaced by the trust I had in myself and my training. I believed that I would not make that mistake again, and my fear melted into determination. I followed up in the next two rounds with dives that received all 10s from the judges, and I narrowly finished in second place to earn a spot on the World Cup team. While I was excited about the result, what really mattered to me in that moment was that I had uncovered the truth about diving. At its core, diving is a mental game you play not with your competitors, but with yourself. The rules are technical in nature: execute challenging dives with minimal splash and ensure your safety by identifying and correcting your mistakes. But the overall aim is to leave your comfort zone behind, to conquer your fears. n

McCrory ’14, a medical student at Duke, was a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the synchronized 10-meter event and a four-time NCAA champion in the platform event.







the America of my youth has died. My parents and I landed at the Mid-Continent International Airport in Kansas City in late December 1971. We carried with us a few suitcases and hopes for a promising future in the form of three green cards and two offers for mom and dad to serve as residents at Trinity Lutheran Hospital. Our flights from Mumbai, London, and New York’s JFK airport were long but not difficult, and my parents looked forward to their jobs and the exciting adventures that came with our move to the U.S.   For a long time, such a move was impossible. Riding waves of anti-Asian propaganda and strong anti-immigrant sentiment, the Asiatic Barred Zone Act of 1917, like its better-known predecessor, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, had prevented for decades the entry of individuals from India, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and the Arabian Peninsula as well as countries in Central Asia and the Polynesian Islands. Only after the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965 were families like ours allowed to migrate to the States. After their residencies and the birth of my sister Preeti ’96, my parents moved us to Montgomery, Alabama, where my father helped to start the neonatal intensive-care unit at Baptist Hospital and my mother worked as a family-practice physician at Maxwell Air Force Base. Dad saved the lives of thousands of premature infants, evidenced, in part, by the many Caucasian and African-American babies that were named after him; mom was the primary-care doctor for several hundred service members and their families. Even in Alabama, the former bastion of Jim Crow, my parents were able to create a happy life for us; they provided their three kids—with the addition of my sister Sonali ’00, M.D. ’04—a comfortable home in a safe neighborhood and access to good schools and a pool and two dogs, to boot. And despite being among AM AFRAID THAT

Our current

the few Asian Americans in our grade president has and the first children of immigrants referred to many of our neighbors or classmates Mexicans as had ever met, we were treated with kindness and affection by most folks “rapists” and we encountered.   certain groups I fear that the era of openness and of immigrants welcome is history.  as “animals” Anti-immigrant bias has become commonplace in our country towho “infest day, and hate-fueled violence against our country.” Asian and South-Asian Americans, Muslims, Latinx, and other people of color is growing at an alarming rate. In February 2017, Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed near my hometown of Kansas City. Before shooting Kuchibhotla and his friend Alok Madasani, the perpetrator yelled racial slurs as he told the two to “get out” of his country. The incident and the many other acts of hate against South Asians in the past eighteen months have raised concerns about the vulnerability of immigrants like them. As Indian immigrants living in Kansas City, Kuchibhotla and his wife were not very different from my father and mother; they spoke English with an accent, prayed to a Hindu god, and enjoyed watching Bollywood movies on weekends. Private actions alone have not spurred the anti-immigrant fervor taking over our country. Xenophobic rhetoric from our politicians, along with actions from law enforcement and federal agency officials, have played a major role. Our current president has referred to Mexicans as “rapists” and certain groups of immigrants as “animals” who “infest our country” and has called for a ban on entry of all Muslims into the United States. On May 7, the Trump administration announced a policy crafted by White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller ’07 to separate immi-

grant children from their parents at the border, even when those families have sought to enter as asylum-seekers. For a time, some 2,300 immigrant children, including infants and toddlers, were placed in internment camps without their mothers and fathers. Until the moment of removal by border patrol officers, these young children looked exactly like I did upon entering the U.S.: tired and a bit disheveled, but safe in parents’ arms. I fear for my children’s future.   Living in Los Angeles, a county in which 35 percent of its residents are immigrants, I generally did not worry about my safety or that of my husband, Shai ’91, and our children. But, recently, the daughters of a friend were verbally assaulted and threatened as they were walking their dog in an L.A. suburb. Two white men in a pickup truck yelled to the young girls, “Go back to your f---ing country.” The girls ran home, crying and scared of what might happen to them at the hands of these men. Like our daughters, they are U.S.-born citizens of SouthAsian descent. The fact that this happened in my liberal mecca shook me. I worry even more because our kids will soon go to college and perhaps to graduate school. Then they will seek jobs that may very well take them to parts of the country where they will be even less welcome because of how they look, because of who their parents are. I fear that a story like mine, in which an immigrant child could—with the support of her family and encouragement of her friends and teachers—work hard, do well in school, and attend a university like Duke, will cease to be a reality for so many young people. And, more important, I am afraid that the United States will return to an earlier time, that of 100 to 150 years ago, when white nationalist propaganda and xenophobia led to racial exclusion policies that drove out thousands of people of color and prevented millions like my parents and me from entering. I am afraid that history will repeat itself. n

Kulkarni ’91 is executive director of Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), a coalition of more than forty Asian Pacific-Islander (API) organizations that serves and represents the 1.5 million APIs in Los Angeles.   DUKE MAGAZINE





Duke University Improv’s (DUI) orientation-week show for new first-years. We ask for a suggestion of a word—any word at all. Responses are weak, which is to be expected, and finally we’re able to pull a quiet noun out of a boy in the front row. “Bomb.” Endless opportunity (please, no terrorism). So many directions that this could go in (don’t mention the 11th of September). Where will this word take us? I open hard with an Al-Qaeda reference. Silence from the audience. Not a giggle, or a snort, or even a stifled grin. Just silence. Needless to say, I know I screwed up, and I show it on my face, trying to save myself with another lame, “explosive” comment. Again, silence. O SET THE STAGE:

beit short) comedy career and pursue a life in the shadows. “I’ll never joke again,” I tell myself, dramatically lifting my hand to the mirror. “Funny, I am no more.” It’s hard to be confident on stage after silence. I go in fearing it, hating it. I think funny people—comedians, improvisers—often feel like they’re moving through the world by themselves. That’s why the audience is important. A room full of strangers to validate the life that you’re living. What a hard way to exist, right? Luckily, I know I’m not in this alone. My improv troupe has everything to do with that. They’re my forever audience, validating my comedy and my ideas, even when I’m scared they won’t land. Or, they’re helping me change them.

There’s so much in that silence. Blank stares. Maybe a grimace or two. There’s so much in that silence. Blank stares. Maybe a grimace or two. It’s times like these when I feel the most afraid. I get that sick and murky feeling in my gut, and kill-me-now thoughts fill my head, my mind racing that I’ve ruined DUI’s reputation. That all the freshmen are thinking I’m some ignorant white kid. And of course, the most soul-crushing thought an improviser can have: “They don’t think I’m funny.” For me, so much of comedy is in the audience. I want people to laugh and smile, bouncing energy off of them and radiating it back onto myself. That’s what makes me tick, makes me feel like I’m doing something bigger than myself. Without that I’m just a weird kid running around on stage, flailing and doing a bad Russian accent. When I hear silence, I lose that meaning, that purpose, that drive. I’m terrified to live without that. Obviously, I’ve put all my eggs in the same basket, and one that’s temperamental. A bad room means a week of wanting to quit my (al-

They don’t let me soak in the quiet stares. They lift me out of those stares by laughing or criticizing. So much of dealing with my fear of silence has been finding people who validate me, even when I’m not funny. People who are willing to take me at my most caustic and callous, my most ignorant and selfish. People who help me look in the mirror and say, “I am funny. I am smart. I am kind. I am important.” Back to the stage: My last terrorism reference hangs heavy in the air, my eyes darting from audience to scene partner. “Help,” I try to blink to my fellow improviser. “Been reading the Westboro Baptist newsletter again, haven’t you, Uncle Bart?” A lifeline, glorious lifeline. “I can’t help it. The headlines are so damn colorful.” Laughter. Sweet, sweet nectar of the comedy goddesses. My murky belly dissipates. I wink a “Thank you” to my friend on stage. One of the people I care about most in the world. The scene continues, and I live to improvise another day. n

Hennessy is a rising junior at Duke, studying linguistics and French. He is also an improviser and the current program director of Project Arts. He has spent the summer working in New York, reading, and searching for the perfect taco.






Iseman Trull ’99 and her husband are the editors of Cave Wall, in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her poetry collection, The Real Warnings, received several awards, including North Carolina’s Brockman Campbell and Oscar Arnold Young awards. Her poems and creative nonfiction have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, and elsewhere.

The Real Warnings Are Always Too Late I want to go back to the winter I was born and warn you that I will flood through your life like acid and you will burn yourselves on me. On my sixteenth birthday, I will use the candles to set the basement aflame and run out laughing, wearing smoke like a new dress. With a pocket knife, I will try to root out that life you so eagerly started. I’ll dent the garage door with my head, siphon Crown Royal from your liquor cabinet, jump from a gondola in Venice. I’ll smash my ankle with a hammer, drive through stop signs with my eyes closed, cost you thousands in medical bills. Forget about sleeping. I’ll dominate the prayers you keep sending up like the last of flares from an island no one visits. For every greeting card poem, I will write four to hurt you. Some will be true. Other people’s lives will look perfect as you search the house for its sharper pieces. And when they lock me up I’ll tell the walls I’m sorry. But these warnings will come like candles after a night of pyres. I already know how you will take one look at that new life screaming into the world, and open your arms, thinking, if it looks this innocent, it cannot be so bad. From The Real Warnings, Anhinga Press


Lullaby and Goodnight Mothers across the city, sleep tonight, sleep through the hours of crash in the alley, siren unfastening red from its cradle, sleep through the guttercat licking its claws, the hemlock tapping its code on the window. Stir not from your dreams of knives heavied by butter, of dew in the meadow assailing each hem. Rooms away, a stereo’s coming on softly: valley so low, hang your head over… sleep through this song reaching up from your childhood and sleep through the family dog’s whine of dementia on waking, lost in the foyer, circling the rug. There will be time, soon enough, for your breaking attention: the boxing of sweaters, the twice-washed dish. Sleep

well tonight, mothers across the city, none of your sons crowded five to a cell, none bowing from the bridge rail toward dark waters. In their beds, in their footy pajamas, they keep faith in nightlights, in mended bears, faith in the Lord whose existence you’ve promised. No wolf zipping itself into sheepskin, this house no house

by the clock of the coffee’s slow drip, he departs, your eldest, for a shift at the grocery. Hear the register ping, jets misting the lettuce, the mop slap the floor with its kiss. Now watch him return, come evening, to you. He steers the garbage to the curb; empties his plate of seconds; then lulls from the piano all the old songs, an octave too low, making up for the C that won’t sound. And into dusk he rocks beside you on the porch as the other mothers of the neighborhood, mothers of the city, call in their youngest, every single one of whom drops his bat, his bike, or ball to come running, running in the light just now begun to vanish. Watch them slam their happy doors. What happens next, you do not have to see to know: bath, books, and that hum in the dark, that battle not to close their eyes. First appeared in Crab Orchard Review

of straw, all your young men tonight accounted for—blood alcohol at zero percent, teeth by nicotine unstained, skin unfolding its scars as their dreams leave, on their faces, soft eddies—dream with them: Tomorrow,





“I really want to take this class, but I’m not sure I can do it.”


E LISTEN INTENTLY to the young wom-

an standing before us. Tears pool in her eyes. Her body shakes with the effort of holding back the onslaught of memory. She is the first in a line of students. Each year this line forms after the first class of “Stories for Social Change: Confronting Sexual and Domestic Violence at Duke and in Durham.” These students enroll in our course determined, frightened, and uncertain. And every year we tell them the same thing: “Walk with us if you’re able. The journey will transform you. But, if now isn’t the right time, come back next year.” On that first day, we tell the students they will share intimate stories, read and discuss material that will challenge their understanding of sexual and family violence, and confront the fears they believe most shape their identities. We explain that they will come to trust and care for each other. They never believe us. As one student said, “I thought that was fluffy and unattainable. I thought it was B.S.... I barely knew any of the people sitting in the circle around me.” And yet, with each tentative step toward vulnerability, the students discover that authenticity, trust, and compassion happen naturally. These qualities are the unavoidable result of the students’ willingness to uncover and share the very stories they are most afraid for others to hear. As instructors, we have no way of knowing when a student will take a brave and deep dive. But, at some point, one student will find the courage to climb the high board. It is a breathtaking moment. Because, once that first student dives, the water seems less terrifying to all. Once someone takes the plunge, others will head for that tall ladder, and even the bystanders will dip their toes to test the water. Often the first deep dive comes in a written response—a poem, a letter, an essay—to reflection prompts: “How has violence affected your life?” and “In what ways do you—your personal assumptions about gender, sexuality, and power—contribute to a rape culture?” Using a restorative approach, we facilitate a circle

process where students share their reflections. Every year, a student speaks about being sexually violated as a child. About calling the police on a father assaulting a mother. About being publicly shamed by a parent because of weight, looks, or gender orientation. About judging a friend who was sexually assaulted. About the frustration of participating in a social life tied to alcohol and the off-campus bar Shooters. About the student’s own violence toward others. And always, some students write about being survivors of sexual assault. In high school. On a study abroad. On campus. When the students discover the courage, space, and voice to share—that moment is unspeakably precious. Story by story, the students find strength in embracing the simple fact—“These things happened. They do not make me a shameful person; they do not make me less; they simply make me exactly like everybody else. Profoundly human.” Surrounded by acceptance, it is easy to drop the façade of effortless perfection and settle into a freeing space of authenticity. That tearful student from the first day? Toward the end of the course she wrote: “I cannot even now believe that I shared my narrative in class, because back in January, this would have been unfathomable to me, but you both created an environment where we all felt safe, comfortable, and loved. I have learned that sharing stories is nothing to be afraid of….” Unfathomable is good. The water is deep, but love and acceptance are wide. The students even perform their stories publicly at the close of the semester, offering an audience of members of the Duke and Durham communities the chance to share in their journey. And the student who thought it was all B.S.? At the final performance she announced: “I was wrong. I am leaving this class not only a proud, outspoken survivor, but also with new friends, with people I genuinely care about, and with a story that I am no longer ashamed to share.” Being present enough with our fears to share them with others frees us to recognize that we are not the story we tell ourselves and not the story others tell about us. We are so much more. n

Lambert ’08 is an educator, actress, activist, and audiobook narrator. Harris is the founder of Hidden Voices, a collective committed to creating a just, compassionate, and sustainable world. She is the author of the play COUNT: Stories From America’s Death Row.





I skipped my senior year of high school and went to Duke on a soccer scholarship. I was the youngest Division I athlete in the history of the NCAA. I wanted to be the best player in the world. I scored two goals my first game and thought nothing would stop me. Four years later, my senior season ended—the same year the women’s professional league folded. I wasn’t the best player in the world; I wasn’t even the best player on my team. I wasn’t good enough for the national team. So, at twenty, my career was over. My whole life I’d been a soccer player; now, suddenly, I wasn’t. You hear a lot about all sports instilling confidence, but when my career ended, all I felt was insecurity. It took me fifteen years to get good at soccer. I was a freak who practiced with two teams a day and dribbled around trashcans for twenty minutes after I got home. Now, all that time kicking soccer balls just made me feel woefully underprepared to do anything else. Yet the truisms about sports making you tough aren’t wrong. They do teach you to work hard; they do teach you to want. Maybe most important for me, sports taught me what to do with fear. All my life I’d been scared of mundane life activities like talking to the


bank teller or finding a place to sit at the lunch table. But when I stepped on the field, heart in my throat, the fear turned into adrenaline. The more nervous I was, the better I played. So, sure, I was scared to go throw myself into a new dream, but soccer had taught me that that doesn’t matter. You just do it anyway. Cracked out on Mountain Dew, I spent two weeks in the athletes’ computer cluster, coming up with a writing sample for graduate school in creative writing. And then one day in the spring I came home from a run and my Icelandic roommate men-

tioned casually that some man named “Villiam” had called—that I’d been accepted into the University of Notre Dame’s M.F.A. program. I clapped my hands on Thora’s cheeks and screamed, “Thora! Thora! Thora!” Suddenly, I had a future. Whatever terror I felt for my new life now took on a giddy undertone: I was ready to see everything I had missed while I was out kicking balls. For the summer, I got a job working as a deckhand on a $15 million yacht. I scrubbed toilets, kayaked through mangroves, ate freshly caught sashimi, and drank tequila in straw-thatched bars across the Mexican coast. My crewmates had lived lives drastically different from my own. While I’d devoted myself to one thing, they’d dabbled in everything. During night shifts, as we sat in the swiveled captain’s chairs, scanning the water for the lights of other boats, I listened to their stories—of spear-fishing in Alaska, of brief stints as astronomers or pastry chefs, of expeditions across the great wide world. I couldn’t wait to leave soccer behind.

postgraduate writing grant to finish my book. Only I couldn’t finish it—eight months into the grant, I knew it wasn’t working and I didn’t know how to fix it. But I had a lot of time to think—to wonder what I would do if I could do anything—and my thoughts kept coming back to that pickup game on the beach. I went back to Duke for a weekend and spent a night with a former teammate in Bostock, our heads bent over a yellow legal pad. What if, we thought, we went all around the world, looking for spontaneous pickup games? Not the games played in stadiums, but the games that happen on back alleys and beaches, between anyone. That night in the library led to Pelada, a documentary about pickup soccer in twenty-five countries around the world. We played with moonshine brewers in Kenya, prisoners in Bolivia, women in hijab in Iran, seventy-year-olds in Brazil. The old men taught us that the game can have as much meaning in the end of your life as it does at the beginning—so long as someone is counting on you to play the ball well.

Afterward, we drank beer and took pictures where I am holding onto their guns. At least that’s what I told myself initially. Then we anchored off an island that served as an outpost for the Mexican Army—an island that happened to have a makeshift soccer field with driftwood goalposts. I stood there, staring first at the field, then at the soldiers on the dock, machine guns strapped to their backs, machetes in hand. Within an hour, I got the dinghy, motored over there, made kicking gestures until my intentions were clear. As the sky opened up and monsoon-like rain poured down, we played, we laughed wildly, we shared goal celebrations. Afterward, we drank beer and took pictures where I am holding onto their guns. What else in the world can do this? I thought. What else can create intimacy between total strangers? During my next two years living the grad-student life in the cold of South Bend, I couldn’t get the game out of my head. When I graduated, I won the program’s

While we were traveling around the world, we played with an Italian writer who told us, “Soccer will give you much more than you can ever give it.” This struck me as the truest thing I’d ever heard. It’s a lesson that has also brought me a lot of peace with writing. In anything, it’s easy to get caught up in chasing recognition, or the next rung of some intangible stepladder, and to forget that ultimately, it’s about the satisfaction you feel when you try hard and do something well. When I sit down to write, I know I’m doing it for myself, because I love it, because I can get lost in a story in the same way I could a game. I’m working on a new book, about New Orleans and brothers and sisters. It’s fiction, which I’ve never written before—and that’s unnerving—but by now I know that I like being scared. And always, I know that writing will give me much more than I could ever give it. n

Oxenham ’04 is the author of Under the Lights and In the Dark: Untold Stories of Women’s Soccer and Finding the Game: Three Years, Twenty-Five Countries and the Search for Pickup Soccer. DUKE MAGAZINE






much is made of two serdia will make you fear things for no reason whatsoever. Some vants who multiply what they’ve been given. Five coins politicians run campaigns built on fear. We might as well stay turn into ten. Two coins turn into four. These two servants indoors and barricade ourselves in our bedrooms or labs. But are like the “goody two shoes” in a chemistry class. Always that’s exactly what fear wants—to be alone with us, to cuddle getting the right answer, helping the teacher, never getting into up to us and have us all to itself. trouble, always getting good grades, always getting the attenIn 1819, the whale ship Essex, which is the basis for Herman tion, always getting the praise party, always receiving accolades, Melville’s Moby Dick, set sail from Nantucket Island. There seemingly without a trouble in the world. were twenty American sailors on the ship. In 1820, the ship But I’m drawn to that one servant with the least. The unwas 3,000 miles off the coast of Chile when it was struck by a derdog. No profit, no party, no pat on the back from his massperm whale that made a hole in the hull. The ship began to ter. I’m rooting for him because I’m rooting for us. I say that flood with seawater, so the men got into three small whaleboats because we may see our own reflection in his story, which is a as their ship sunk. They were about 1,200 miles from the closest story of fear. island to the west. There’s no celebration for the last servant with the least. “Master, I knew Some of the sailors wanted to go that you are a hard there, but others didn’t: They feared that cannibals lived on man. You harvest grain where you haven’t sown. You gather those islands, which was a prevalent rumor in that day. They crops where you haven’t spread seed. So I was afraid. And I hid decided not to go to the closest island and instead headed in my valuable coin in the ground.” another direction, which was farther away, even with their limThis story is not really about making money. It’s about what ited supplies of food and water. we do with what we’ve been given by God and how we are Fear led them in another direction. Eventually, due to lack stewards of our own lives. There’s no celebration for the last of food and water, some sailors began to die. And what hapservant with the least. It’s a lament, and it should cause us to pened? Ironically, the sailors end up doing the same thing they lament for him and for every buried gift in the ground. When feared—eating one another. I hide my valuable coin in the ground, there’s no growth, no Fear isn’t just destructive. Fear can be constructive. It can predevelopment, no flourishing, no joy in my life, because of fear. vent you from touching a fire with a bare hand. It can prevent The servant was formed, or malformed by fear, going nowhere you from opening up the airplane door when you are 30,000 with his gifts and his life. This is not just about our coins, our feet in the air. It can prevent you from walking in the middle value, our talents, and our gifts that we hide. This is about the of a busy highway. Fear may be a hardwired biological version way we hide ourselves because of fear. of common sense. Fear, in the business world, can be viewed Fear can paralyze us, making us inactive and stagnant, keeping life at a standstill, no matter with what we’ve been graced or as “productive paranoia,” as Karen Thompson Walker puts it. how well we did at Duke. And fear can prevent us from making However, when fear destroys a life’s purpose and potential, tough decisions or cause us to avoid certain people, places, or it’s a tragedy. The servant buried the wrong thing. He should things. With fear, no one will take risks, and without risks, have buried fear. If we succumb to our fears, we won’t do the there will be no growth. things God wants us to do, and we won’t go where God wants It doesn’t take much to realize that we live in a culture of fear. us to go. Just say North Korean nuclear missiles, ISIS, Boko Haram, So bury fear, because fear will make you smaller than God gun violence, governmental surveillance, immigrants, refugees, wants you to be. Bury it with love, because love is stronger than and the shockwaves of fear will be felt. Sometimes, the mefear. Let this be the day that fear is finished. n Powery is dean of Duke University Chapel. This is adapted from his baccalaureate address to the Class of 2016. DUKE MAGAZINE



ForeverDuke In Memoriam

1930s Daniel S. Ellis ’34 of Westwood, Mass., on Dec. 13, 2017.

1940s Marie N. Harper Beck ’40 of Topsfield, Mass., on April 30, 2018. John F. Crigler Jr. ’40 of Needham, Mass., on May 13, 2018. Margaret Allan Thomas R.N. ’40 of Ennis, Texas, on March 10, 2018. Ralph H. Bastien Jr. ’41 of Kalamazoo, Mich., on April 8, 2018. Adelaide Mayhew Prillaman ’41 of Shakopee, Minn., on June 23, 2016. Frances L. Wilson M.Ed. ’41 of Miami, on March 11, 2018. Donna L. Hughes Blackburn ’43 of Falls Church, Va., on April 11, 2018. Benjamin L. Smith Jr. ’43 of Colfax, N.C., on May 15, 2018. Lloyd Bailey Gill ’44 of Norfolk, Va., on Oct. 8, 2017. John M. Harmes ’44 of Manchester, N.H., on April 25, 2018. F. Paul Mooring ’44 of Glen Ellyn, Ill., on Nov. 18, 2016. Susanne W. Perrin Raup ’44 of Chicago, on May 5, 2017. Margaret W. McCormick Waller ’44 of Lompoc, Calif., on Jan. 4, 2018. Katherine E. Lange Bowen ’45 of El Paso, Texas, on Feb. 6, 2018. Edward H. Cunliff ’45 of St. Louis, on March 9, 2018. Jane Cothran Hinnant R.N. ’45, B.S.N. ’48 of Lexington, S.C., on Aug. 27, 2017. Elizabeth E. Coble Whaling ’45 of Cary, N.C., on March 29, 2018. Barbara L. Perkins Buschman ’46 of Durham, on May 8, 2018. William D. Furst ’46, M.D. ’49, H ’50 of San Antonio, on May 1, 2018. Joseph C. King B.S.M.E. ’46 of Bowie, Md., on Sept. 17, 2017. Walter L. Ross B.S.M.E. ’46 of Fallbrook, Calif., on Feb. 22, 2018. Howard T. Devane ’47 of Canyon Lake, Texas, on Feb. 5, 2018. Frances Giles Stiefel B.S.N. ’47 of Jacksonville, Fla., on Feb. 20, 2018. Nancy J. Henry Dameron ’48 of Raleigh, on March 28, 2018. Jack Kindler ’48, M.D. ’52 of Upper Montclair, N.J., on May 3, 2016. Robert L. Loucks ’48 of Greenville, S.C., on Aug. 25, 2016. Eunice M. McCarthy ’48 of Greenbrae, Calif., on July 8, 2016. Jack H. Quaritius ’48 of Jacksonville, Fla., on July 11, 2017. Ida Paulette Bray Chandler R.N. ’49 of Hampton, Va., on Oct. 21, 2017. Miriam E. Atkinson Donovan B.S.N. ’49, R.N. ’49 of Charleston, S.C., on Feb. 11, 2018. Joseph Janatka B.S.E.E. ’49 of Mount Auburn, Ill., on March 15, 2017. George W. Martin ’49, J.D. ’51 of Mocksville, N.C., on April 3, 2018. Robert J. Rauch ’49 of Woodmere, N.Y., on Sept. 27, 2016. Allen P. Smith ’49 of Beaver, Pa., on Oct. 26, 2017. Mary N. Lundeberg Smith ’49 of Minneapolis, on Jan. 23, 2017.

More Duke memories online Find links to full obituaries for Duke alumni at

Chris Hildreth

1950s Hans J. Borstell ’50 of Milledgeville, Ga., on Feb. 23, 2017. James D. Egan B.S.M.E. ’50 of Mechanicsville, Va., on Feb. 10, 2018. Nancy A. Bracken Fuller ’50 of Sugar Land, Texas, on April 25, 2018.


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Grace E. Taylor Hodges ’50 of Burlington, N.C., on April 22, 2018. Harry R. Powers M.F. ’50 of Athens, Ga., on March 19, 2018. Charles L. Rast Jr. H ’50, H ’54 of West Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 27, 2018. Rebecca T. Ball Rust ’50 of Aiken, S.C., on April 27, 2018. Quinton L. Sorrell B.S.C.E. ’50 of Durham, on Jan. 16, 2018. Mildred E. Frazee Tutan ’50 of Coral Gables, Fla., on April 5, 2018. Paul C. Walker Jr. ’50 of Burlington, N.C., on April 5, 2018. Ralph L. Fleming Jr. ’51, B.Div. ’54 of Durham, on May 20, 2018. Clarence A. Johnson Jr. B.S.M.E. ’51 of Durham, on April 19, 2018. Peter L. Kastrinelis B.S.M.E. ’51 of Boxford, Mass., on March 27, 2018. Margaret E. Mund McKay ’51 of Niles, Mich., on April 29, 2018. Jacqueline F. McBride Miller Reynolds ’51 of Winnsboro, S.C., on March 23, 2018. William S. Lynn H ’52 of Hilton Head Island, S.C., on Feb. 13, 2018. Malcolm G. Murray Jr. B.S.M.E. ’52 of Baytown, Texas, on Dec. 17, 2015. Joseph G. Ross Jr. ’52 of Herndon, Va., on July 18, 2017. Lillian N. Simpson M.Ed. ’52 of Greenville, S.C., on March 21, 2018. Nancy A. Fowlkes Allen ’53 of Salisbury, Md., on April 10, 2018. Donna M. Homan Britt B.S.N.Ed. ’53 of Signal Mountain, Tenn., on June 1, 2016. Jane Rhea Hyder Clayton ’53 of Port Orange, Fla., on April 20, 2018.


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ForeverDuke Bernard R. Fitzgerald B.Div. ’53 of Charlotte, on Feb. 22, 2018. Muriel E. Murchie Richard ’53 of Weston, Conn., on Nov. 18, 2017. Edgar B. Brown ’54 of Jacksonville, Fla., on March 8, 2018. Herbert S. Gates Jr. ’54 of Naples, Fla., on July 24, 2017. Mary Elizabeth Coffee Glovier ’54 of Sterling, Va., on April 25, 2018. John C. Hamilton Jr. ’54 of Arlington, Va., on Feb. 27, 2018. Sallie J. Demorest Mook ’54 of Granite Bay, Calif., on Sept. 12, 2015. D. Kirk Oglesby Jr. H.A.Cert. ’54 of Anderson, S.C., on April 7, 2018.

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Mia Gyau´21, Women’s Soccer, Sophomore

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Arnold W.O. Seesholts ’54 of Stuart, Fla., on Dec. 16, 2017. Alan H. Temple Jr. ’54 of Auburn, N.Y., on March 26, 2018. Virginia T. Craig Downs A.M. ’55 of Cary, N.C., on Feb. 28, 2018. William W. Kelly A.M. ’55, Ph.D. ’57 of Marietta, Ga., on April 17, 2018. Emmett D. Lawshe ’55 of Hardy, Va., on Feb. 22, 2017. Joyce W. Bailey Strzetelski ’55 of Wellesley, Mass., on April 10, 2018. Richard C. Brau ’56 of Hampstead, N.C., on April 30, 2018. Saville Jett Janney ’56 of Charlottesville, Va., on April 29, 2018. Ann Marie Ebinger Kulcsar ’56 of Wallace, N.C., on April 1, 2017. William A. Litle B.S.C.E. ’56 of Garden Grove, Calif., on March 16, 2018. Don L. Long M.A.T. ’56 of Norfolk, Va., on Feb. 7, 2018. Richard A. Marshall H ’56 of Tulsa, Okla., on Nov. 23, 2017. Mary Forehand Partin M.A.T. ’56 of Edenton, N.C., on April 7, 2018. Andrew S. Tegeris H ’56 of Bethesda, Md., on Feb. 9, 2017. Hadley R. Young M.D. ’56 of Duluth, Minn., on Feb. 16, 2018. Stanley L. Abrahams ’57 of Baltimore, on March 29, 2018. William D. Beaty ’57 of Raleigh, on May 14, 2018. Frank S. Crim M.Div. ’57 of Berryville, Va., on Jan. 22, 2017. Tanya D. Tillett Crow R.N. ’57, B.S.N. ’59 of Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Feb. 13, 2018. Philip J. Hamrick Jr. Ph.D. ’57 of Winston-Salem, N.C., on Feb. 27, 2018. Charles M. Hoskin A.M. ’57 of Leesburg, Va., on June 22, 2017. Dorothy E. England Hull R.N. ’57 of Gurnee, Ill., on March 10, 2018. Jane Harrington Tate ’57 of King of Prussia, Pa., on May 27, 2016. Alvin M. LoSasso ’58 of Indianapolis, on May 17, 2018. Ronald D. Royal ’58 of Bath, Maine, on July 15, 2015. Elinor Jane Perry-Camp Schiffman ’58 of Tallahassee, Fla., on March 18, 2018. Floyd L. Wergeland Jr. M.D. ’58 of San Diego, on Feb. 4, 2018. Janet M. Arnold M.A.T. ’59 of Travelers Rest, S.C., on Feb. 5, 2017. Bobby C. Black M.Div. ’59 of Tucson, Ariz., on March 14, 2018. Peter Lyon ’59 of Savannah, Ga., on March 27, 2018. Joanna M. Holloway Nicholson ’59, M.A.T. ’62 of Sarasota Springs, N.Y., on April 27, 2018. Gordon D. Pyle B.S.E.E. ’59 of Jacksonville, Fla., on April 1, 2018. Jean Mote Rowe B.S.N. ’59 of Sebring, Fla., on July 24, 2016. James S. White B.Div. ’59 of Statesville, N.C., on Oct. 10, 2017.

1960s Stephen C. Boone ’60, M.D. ’63, Ph.D. ’64 of Raleigh, on May 3, 2018. Joan M. Durstine Gantt ’60 of Dallas, on April 22, 2018. Allen Shalit M.D. ’60 of Wayne, N.J., on May 12, 2018. C. Norman Kraus Ph.D. ’61 of Harrisonburg, Va., on April 6, 2018. Joseph H. Lang Sr. ’61 of St. Petersburg, Fla., on April 21, 2018. Richard I. Leighton Ph.D. ’61 of Ann Arbor, Mich., on March 17, 2018. Arthur W. Mitchell ’61 of Key Largo, Fla., on Oct. 2, 2017. William J. Novick Jr. Ph.D. ’61 of Lebanon, N.J., on Aug. 9, 2015. James N. Walpole B.S.E.E. ’61 of Concord, Mass., on March 28, 2018.

People Get Ready Building a Contemporary Collection

On view September 1, 2018 through January 6, 2019

2001 Campus Drive, Durham Zanele Muholi, Basizeni XI, Cassilhaus, North Carolina (detail), 2016. Gelatin silver print, edition 8/8, 31 1⁄2 × 24 inches (80 × 60.9 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Museum purchase, 2018.2.1. Image courtesy of the artist, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, and Stevenson Cape Town/Johannesburg. © Zanele Muholi. People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection is supported by the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Fund for Exhibitions; JoAnn and Ronald Busuttil; Lisa Lowenthal Pruzan and Jonathan Pruzan; and Karen M. Rabenau and David H. Harpole, M.D.

THE UMSTEAD.COM | CARY, NC | 866.877.4141

ForeverDuke Patricia A. O’Brien Agre B.S.N. ’62 of Elmsford, N.Y., on Dec. 28, 2017. Carolyn L. Carter Bringhurst A.M. ’62 of Philadelphia, on April 7, 2018. John H. Daniel Jr. ’62, M.F. ’63 of Williamston, N.C., on April 20, 2018. Mary H. Zelenz Lovetri-Binchy B.S.N. ’62 of Greenwich, Conn., on March 26, 2018. Eugene D. Maloney M.D. ’62 of Gastonia, N.C., on Dec. 31, 2017. William S. Hawgood II ’63 of Phoenix, on April 23, 2018. Donald C. Nagel M.Div. ’63 of Asheville, N.C., on March 25, 2018. David J. Prentiss ’63 of Stuart, Fla., on April 12, 2018. Patrick H. Bowen J.D. ’64 of Bridgeport, Conn., on Jan. 30, 2018. John C. Carlyle LL.B. ’64 of Spring Lake, Mich., on April 22, 2018. George H. Park M.Div. ’64 of Green Cove Springs, Fla., on May 14, 2018. John A. Abbott III B.S.C.E. ’65 of Waynesboro, Pa., on April 12, 2018. F. Joseph Burger A.M. ’65, Ph.D. ’67 of Athens, Tenn., on March 29, 2018. Patricia M. Kasmar Clark ’65 of Bourne, Mass., on May 17, 2018. Eugene J. Guazzo M.D. ’65 of Leonardtown, Md., on April 8, 2018. Jeffrey P. Hughes LL.B. ’65 of New York, on Feb. 28, 2018. Albert F. Johnson ’65 of Mount Gilead, N.C., on May 12, 2018. Charles B. Mills Jr. J.D. ’65 of Columbus, Ohio, on Feb. 23, 2018. John F. Pfeiffer II A.M. ’65 of Louisville, Ky., on April 1, 2018. Herbert T. Appenzeller Ed.D. ’66 of Greensboro, N.C., on Jan. 5, 2018. Sharon P. Stephens Brehm ’67, Ph.D. ’73 of Bloomington, Ind., on March 30, 2018. C. Edward Brown Jr. A.M. ’67 of Wilmington, N.C., on April 19, 2018. Vincent B. Giordano M.D. ’67, H ’70 of Denver, on March 31, 2018. Frederick O. Goddard Ph.D. ’67 of Waynesville, N.C., on Jan. 28, 2018. Elizabeth Jones Lashley M.A.T. ’67 of Young Harris, Ga., on March 15, 2018. Stephen A. Graham A.M. ’68, Ph.D. ’71 of Boiling Springs, S.C., on Feb. 7, 2018. Thomas A. Huff H ’68 of Augusta, Ga., on March 19, 2018. Francis W. Ryan ’68 of Thorndale, Pa., on May 12, 2018. Hak L. Kim H ’69 of Beckley, W.V., on March 11, 2018. E. Curtis Wells ’69 of Ashland, Mo., on Sept. 14, 2016.


Dorothy K. Campbell ’77 of Nashville, Tenn., on April 3, 2018. Lea F. Courington J.D. ’77 of Dallas, on June 30, 2018. Craig T. Cuden ’78 of West Palm Beach, Fla., on Feb. 2, 2018. Marilyn Koeppen Shipman M.Div. ’79 of Durham, on April 4, 2018.

1980s Phil W. Denny Jr. M.Div. ’80 of Beaufort, N.C., on May 31, 2016. Peter G. Wyman ’80 of Durham, on March 3, 2018. David L. Drobeck B.S.E. ’81 of Salt Lake City, on Feb. 11, 2018. Mark H. Lerner ’82, M.D. ’87 of New York, on Jan. 3, 2018. Diane F. Viale B.S.N. ’83 of Dallas, on March 14, 2018. Ann Worcester Sethness A.M. ’85 of Greenwich, Conn., on July 1, 2017. Andrew L. Shapiro J.D. ’85 of North Bethesda, Md., on March 16, 2018. Jeffrey D. Jones A.M. ’86, J.D. ’86 of Tallahassee, Fla., on March 9, 2018. Billie J. Stubblefield Morrison M.Div. ’88 of Greensboro, N.C., on Nov. 2, 2015. Adriane K. Kyropoulos ’89 of Chapel Hill, on May 11, 2018.

1990s Victor Kok-Yin Ho M.B.A. ’91 of Singapore, on June 12, 2016. Catherine E. Docter ’92 of Carpinteria, Calif., on Sept. 17, 2017. James A. Fisher M.Div. ’92 of Moss Point, Miss., on April 10, 2018. Carl J. Ahlgren A.M. ’93 of Baltimore, on April 16, 2018. Robert A. Emken Jr. M.B.A. ’95 of Winston-Salem, N.C., on Feb. 28, 2018. Martin L. McCall ’95 of Cataula, Ga., on April 6, 2018. Marilyn R. Guigar M.S.N. ’96 of Alpena, Mich., on Feb. 11, 2018. Albertine Coney Rouse M.Div. ’96 of Greensboro, N.C., on Dec. 16, 2016. Andrea L. Purvis Ph.D. ’98 of Durham, on April 16, 2018.

2000s Stephan Strnad LL.M. ’00 of Seattle, on Feb. 24, 2018. Robert A. Smith M.B.A. ’02 of Nashville, Tenn., on March 26, 2018. Stacey Yale Williams B.S.N. ’05 of Garner, N.C., on March 18, 2016.

Joseph J. Falcone ’70 of Durham, on May 12, 2018. Nancy J. Fratcher Graham A.M. ’70, Ph.D. ’72 of Hamden, Conn., on Feb. 22, 2018. Sallie E. Hildebrandt ’70 of La Jolla, Calif., on March 12, 2018. Joseph C. McMurry M.Div. ’70 of Lawndale, N.C., on April 30, 2018. Robert T. Brousseau J.D. ’72 of Dallas, on March 30, 2018. Toni P. Coggins Hill M.Ed. ’72 of Durham, on April 30, 2018. Andrew C. Puckett Jr. M.Th. ’72 of Durham, on March 12, 2018. Joseph J. Burge M.D. ’74 of Harrisonburg, Va., on Feb. 12, 2018. Mary M. Carlton Croghan M.Ed. ’74 of Raleigh, on March 9, 2018. Patricia A. Allen Arnold ’75 of Nashville, Tenn., on May 14, 2018. Betty Detweiler Keiser B.H.S. ’76 of Palm Coast, Fla., on Jan. 31, 2018.




At the DAA, we’re scared of a few things, too.

Writing a story that appears in Duke Magazine with an embarrassingly conspicuous typo. Not that such a thing would ever hoppen. —Robert J. Bliwise A.M. ’88, editor

That I’ll die before I hear my teenager say, “Mom, you were right about…everything.” —Adrienne Johnson Martin, managing editor

Mean-spiritedness, hostility, hate, belligerence, vitriol—my greatest sense of fear (despite longstanding claustrophobia!) does not seem to fall into one of the more traditional categories; instead, it kicks in most keenly when I experience, or am among, people who exhibit these deeply troubling traits toward others. My initial reaction to the situation may be anger, but it is quickly overcome by an overwhelming sense of heartpounding fear—fear for the victims and the fear of feeling powerless, whether legitimately or not, to do anything about the situation. —Laura Meyer Wellman '73, DAA board president

At twenty-five, I think incessantly about my future. These concerns range from broad (my generation’s plummeting odds of comfortable retirement) to specific (my probable devolution into a life spent oversharing on social media). Yet nothing occupies my thoughts quite as persistently—popping up whenever I roll out of bed, slouch in my office chair, or, God forbid, swing a golf club—as does the creeping specter of long-term back pain. I’d like to end this more positively, but I’m already too busy reading up on orthotics. —Lucas Hubbard ’14, Clay Felker staff writer

I have a terrible fear of the dark. When I was younger, my brother and his friends would always hide in closets and behind doors in the house and rooms where the lights were off and then jump out and scare me—talk about scarring for life! —Sterly Wilder ’83, associate vice president, alumni affairs


Our changing climate is rendering food production uncertain, the ocean will soon run out of fish, and we may all starve. We refuse to collect taxes for education, health care, infrastructure, safety. The wrong skin tone, religion, or expression can get you killed. So I fear that the Cleveland Browns will never win the Super Bowl. —Scott Huler, senior writer

April 12-14, 2019 Celebrate. Reminisce. Reconnect. Come back to Duke Reunions and remember what it means to be Forever Duke. CELEBRATING THE CLASSES OF: 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994,

1999, 2004, 2009, 2014 and the Half Century Club


DUKE MAGAZINE SPECIAL ISSUE 2018 | Vol. 104 | No. 3 EDITOR: Robert J. Bliwise A.M. ’88 MANAGING EDITOR: Adrienne Johnson Martin SENIOR WRITER: Scott Huler CLAY FELKER STAFF WRITER: Lucas Hubbard ’14 CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Christina Holder M.Div. ’13 STAFF ASSISTANT: Delecia Hatcher PUBLISHER: Sterly L. Wilder ’83, associate vice president, Alumni Affairs SPECIAL SECTIONS EDITOR: Bridgette Lacy ART DIRECTOR: Lacey Chylack, phase5creative, inc. PRINTER: Progress Printing OFFICERS, DUKE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION: Jack Boyd ’85, president, Sterly L. Wilder ’83, secretary-treasurer DUKE MAGAZINE Box 90572, Durham, N.C. 27708 PHONE: (919) 684-5114 FAX: (919) 681-1659 E-MAIL: dukemag@ ADDRESS CHANGES: Alumni Records, Box 90581, Durham, N.C. 27708 or • © 2018 Duke University, Published five times a year by the Duke Alumni Association.

Learn more about the weekend:

Duke Alumni Association Reunions Office • Box 90572 • Durham, NC 27708-0572






NO. 3, VOLUME 104


Justice and transformation Crossing ethnic and denominational boundaries. Challenging poverty and inequity. Reconciling differences. Gifts to Duke support the people, places and programs that empower us to complete our enduring mission of knowledge in the service of society.


Made possible by you.

FEAR—along with its close neighbor, anxiety— is everywhere. Fear of immigrants. Fear within immigrants. Fear around the future of democratic institutions. Fear that artificial intelligence will overwhelm human endeavor. Fear that hotter temperatures and elevated sea levels will overwhelm nature’s balancing act.


And consider this item from the latest Harper’s Index: Among Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine, twice as many are fearful

Edgardo Colón-Emeric M.Div’97, Ph.D.’07, assistant professor of Christian theology, is the new director of Duke Divinity School’s Center for Reconciliation. Here, he teaches lessons of healing and harmony to Duke Divinity students and graduate students visiting from Central America.

Whether you leave a legacy with a planned gift or make an immediate impact with an Annual Fund donation, every dollar makes a difference. Together, we are generating the means for the next generation of Duke students and faculty to advance ideas, make new connections and move the world forward. | #MadePossibleBy

rather than hopeful about the future of the country. This issue explores some of the ways that fear factors into our lives. READ ON. And find some fearless explorations into the theme of fear.

Special Issue: Fear  

A collection of essays and images from Duke faculty, students, staff, and alumni.

Special Issue: Fear  

A collection of essays and images from Duke faculty, students, staff, and alumni.