A Sobering Truth


“We are a tale of two Americas, searching for humanity to implore unity.”

Laurin Rinder_AdobeStock

Laurin Rinder_AdobeStock


In honor of Black History Month, we asked clinicians to share their thoughts on Black history and the contributions of Black Americans to the psychiatric field and beyond. Here’s how they answered.

We are a tale of two Americas.

One seen as pure as ivory.

And the other dark as soot

Chronic neglect of the latter

A recurring theme in

Our two-faced nation

I join the choir of brother Hughes

I, too, question the plight of America.

We are a tale of two Americas.

One oppresses.

And the other regresses

Avoidance of hardened truths

A recurring vision for

Our colorblind country

I join the choir of brother King.

I, too, dream of a just America

We are a tale of two Americas.

One breathes freely.

And the other pants with fear

The difference between life and death

A recurring nightmare for

Our red, white, and blue asphalt

I join the choir of sister Bland.

I, too, want to survive in America.

We are a tale of two Americas.

One wants to efface parts of history.

And the other wants to preserve it.

Selection bias on display

A recurring truth for

Our racial caste system

I join the choir of sister Wilkerson.

I, too, shed a tear for America.

We are tale of two Americas.

One who honors Black history with their lips.

And the other who honors it with their actions

Hypocrisy stands the test of time.

A recurring trauma for

Our land of liberty

I join the choir of humanity.

I, too, desire unity in America.

Dr Clark is an outpatient psychiatrist at Prisma Health-Upstate and clinical associate professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville. He served on the American Psychiatric Association’s Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry, and he currently serves as the Diversity and Inclusion section editor and advisory board member for Psychiatric TimesTM.

What does Black History Month mean to you? If you would like to share your thoughts, write to us at PTEditor@MMHGroup.com for a chance to be featured in our Black History Month series.

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