Skip to main content

An Interview with Divine Grayson

My name is Divine Grayson. I’m 17 years old and going into my second year of Med Sci. I’m also black. The Black Lives Matter movement is something that I have participated in for years, ever since Samuel DuBose was killed by a UC officer. I have been fighting for equality for 5 years. A child that young should be worrying about the boy that likes me or what I’m doing with my friends on Saturday, not worrying if I see a cop that they will kill me. So, every time I see a police officer kill an innocent black person, I think of when it will be me. I don’t like to drive in fear that if I get pulled over, I will be killed. That if I walk in the street at night with a hoodie that I will be killed. That if a police officer sees my phone that they will feel threatened enough that I will be killed. That if a police officer comes into my apartment thinking it was theirs that I will be killed. For any normal thing, a white person does there have been black people killed for doing the exact same thing. When I came to UC, one of the first people I saw was a UC police officer — they were just directing traffic for move-in day — but my body locked. It shouldn’t though, right? Police officers are meant to serve and protect; I’m going to be fine, right? I know I haven’t done anything wrong, so I’m going to be fine, right? They aren’t paying attention to me, so I’m going to be fine, right? I need someone to tell me I’m right because the way my mind is going, I feel that it is not going to be.

One thing, I’m proud of is that many young people are coming to understand this injustice. Gen Z is the most diverse generation in American history. We have access to view what injustices are being done in the world, and we won’t let it go. We grew up reading about rebellions and people overthrowing an unjust system. We’ve read and watched The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Avatar, and the Avengers. Did they honestly expect us to sit down and be quiet when we see these things happen in the world, or did we gain confidence in the fact that we can change the system that has oppressed us for so long? Many of my friends in Med Sci have spoken up online and are actively protesting for BLM. To be honest, I have trusted people on TikTok and Twitter to show me what’s going on at the protests because I trust the people who are protesting more than the governing people who were elected. Just remember that no one can censor the media if the media are the people.

What do I want to change? I want everyone who reads this article to have the tough conversations. Having uncomfortable conversations is the only way to learn. Even if they consider themselves not racist, to think about times they may have had microaggressions towards someone of a different race. Just saying that “racism doesn’t exists” or “I’m not racist” is not enough; if you don’t speak to people about their experiences, you will never understand what it is like to live their lives. You must be anti-racist and actively call out people towards their racist actions. If you don’t talk to me about what it is like, you won’t understand that when I see a UC police car that I automatically look for the cop because I have to be hyper aware of my environment. That I’m afraid to look a police officer in the eyes because I fear that they will see it as a challenge instead of engaging, while also looking the police officer in the eyes so that they know that I’m not a threat and just walking to class. That I’m afraid to go to parties because I don’t want to go out at night and look “suspicious”.

I know you didn’t ask about this but since we are bringing up black problems. I don’t see myself in Med Sci. I think there are only two black people I know in my year. I believe that diversity is key to the future of medicine and science, and in order for that to happen, people from different racial backgrounds must be there to be a part of the conversation. If I were to change something about Med Sci it would be the lack of black and Latinx people. Black and Latinx people are the least insured and tend to be the poorest people in America, and if we are going to be treating people, we must know how their backgrounds affect their views. As much as we want to say we understand why people do something inherently, we must have the conversations. We must understand a person’s ZIP code says more about how long they live than their socioeconomic status. We must understand that the history of medicine shows why some people of color don’t go to the hospital until a situation gets really bad. We must understand the history and community to be better people and better healthcare providers and scientists.


Hispanic and African Americans are more likely to be uninsured.

Intranet Login

Contact Us

Department of
Emergency Medicine

Medical Sciences Building Room 1654
231 Albert Sabin Way
PO Box 670769
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0769

Mail Location: 0769
Phone: 513-558-5281
Email: Emergency Medicine