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Black Cancer

Black Cancer

By Jodi-Ann Burey
Black Cancer explores the cancer journeys of everyday people of color. Host Jodi-Ann Burey weaves a narrative about race, health, and life and helps listeners discover the wisdom trauma can bring.
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I'm Not Afraid of Losing Something Now (with Sharon Eldridge)

Black Cancer

I Can’t Be the Only One Who’s Going Through This (with Jared)
In this episode of Black Cancer, Jared shares a story layered with multiple narratives one on top of the other. An unprecedented public health crisis, an unexpected cancer diagnosis and Jared’s father’s unwelcoming reaction to his engagement announcement to his long time partner. There are a lot of questions that just don’t have answers in how to make sense of it all. That’s because this is Jared’s life. In real time.  Oftentimes, survivors and “the survived” talk about cancer in the present tense because its impacts are always with us. But Jared’s story is happening now. His father’s battle with brain cancer is happening now. These unanswered questions, at the time of this recording, remain unanswered now. So why share it? Because we know there are a lot of people out there whose cancer journeys are just beginning and unfolding now. We want you to know that you are not alone.  Post Show: Message from Jodi-Ann about the end of Season 1 of Black Cancer  This episode was created during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic and the movement for Black lives.
October 19, 2020
The Malignancy of Both (with Frantz Berthaud)
In this episode of Black Cancer, Frantz Berthaud, whose professional life as an Administrative Director at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and personal life collide. This episode is titled “The Malignancy of Both” because Frantz and I discuss the malignancy of racism and what our world could look like if we attacked it with the level of rigor we do cancer. We also talk about his journey with his sister’s triple negative breast cancer, its malignancy, and the tools his sister sent for him to change the course of cancer for other women of color like her. Just like all the other episodes this season, we recorded this interview during the COVID-19 pandemic. This becomes our entry point into talking about racism in the workplace and in our healthcare system. Here are Frantz’s listener recommendations: Something to read: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi | Something to listen to: Recordings from and songs enjoyed by your loved ones I’m There Too by Michelle Featherstone | Someone to know:  Bernard Tyson | Bonus Links Artist Who Did His Sister’s Portrait | Ibram X. Kendi's books | Ibram X. Kendi’s article on cancer diagnosis | More on Triple Negative Breast Cancer | Jodi-Ann Burey and TedxSeattle |
October 12, 2020
She Wasn't By Herself (with Erin Douglas)
In this episode, photographer Erin Douglas shares a perspective we don’t often get to hear from when it comes to cancer narratives: the caregiver. Specifically, the family member who re-prioritizes their lives so that they can put the needs of their loved one first. That’s what Erin did for her mother, who is recovering from a recent, second instance of cancer. Between living at the hospital and staying by her side at home, Erin hadn’t slept in her own bed for six months. There is one thing Erin did keep going during her stay at the hospital: The Black Burner Project. Check out Erin’s Burning Man photography on Instagram and do yourself a favor -  look up her feature about her work in Essence Magazine. Black Burner Project: Erin’s website: The Black Burner Project: Black Burner Instagram Page: Essence magazine feature, How I Found My Tribe and My Freedom at Burning: Here are Erin’s listener recommendations: Something to read -- The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho: Someone to know -- Yourself! Do that inner work. :) Something/one to listen to -- Jodi-Ann Burey - and Robin Arzon - and at Post Show Goodies: No post show this week! The full transcript will be posted SOON on
October 6, 2020
I Want Black Women to Have More Choices (with Erika Stallings)
In this episode, Erika Stallings, a New York based attorney, writer and BRCA awareness advocate, share her story about uncovering her BRCA2 gene mutation in her 20s, the importance of medical literacy - even with financial resources and social capital, and her journey to a preventative mastectomy. This episode was recorded a few days after learning about Chadwick Boseman's tragic passing due to Stage 4 colon cancer.  Get the full list of Erika's mentions here: Erika's listener receommendations:  Someone(s) to know: Eve L. Ewing, Sociologist at the University of Chicago, the author of Ghosts in the School Yard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side (book) and Blue Bloods: America’s Brotherhood of Police Officers (article) | Josie Duffy Rice, President of The Appeal; lawyer and journalist; wrote “The Abolition Movement” for Ta-Nehisi Coates’ September issue of Vanity Fair | Something to read: Min Jin Lee, Free Food for Millionaires | [a not to read bonus] Sanzo - text to order sparking water |  [didn't make it in the episode edits] - Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkenson  | Something(s) to listen to: Hear to Slay, a podcast with Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillian Cottom |  Black Men Can't Jump in Hollywood, a podcast hosted by Jonathan Braylock, James III and Jerah Milligan | Denzel Washington is the Best Actor of All Time Period, a podcast by W. Kamau Bell and Kevin Avery | Post Show Goodies: No post show this week! Take that time to check out all Erika’s links and recommendations. The transcript for the episode will be posted soon! Learn more about Erika Stallings: Learn more about Jodi-Ann Burey:
September 29, 2020
I'm Not Afraid of Losing Something Now (with Sharon Eldridge)
In this episode, Sharon Eldridge tells Jodi-Ann about the history of cancer in her family and its impact on how she sees her own health and mortality. Sharon’s grandmother died from stomach cancer when she was just in her 50s. Sharon’s mother, although she beat breast cancer a decade prior, also lost her life to colon cancer in her 50s. How do we pursue living full lives when we expect cancer to find us along our paths? It just might free you more than you think. This conversation explores the ways the process of understanding who we were when trauma entered our lives and how we can look back on ourselves with grace. Sharon also shares how having the bottom fall out from under you becomes the fuel for living a fearless life -- for yourself and others. Here are Sharon's listener recommendations: Someone to know: Ericka Hart Something to listen to: The Read podcast Something to read: Linden Hills by Gloria Naylor Post Show Goodies: Jodi-Ann and Sharon talk about Sharon’s mother’s name and it’s connection to #sayhername advocacy for Breonna Taylor and other women of color who’ve been murdered by the police. This episode was created during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic and the movement for Black lives. Support Black Cancer with a monthly donation. The full transcript ---> on the website!
September 21, 2020
Trained Self-Preservation Mode (with Juliette Austin)
In this episode, Juliette Austin tells Jodi-Ann about what happened to her when she disclosed her thyroid cancer diagnosis at work nearly a decade ago and just how toxic a reentry process to work can be. This traumatic experience impacted how she, many years later, chose to disclose her cancer survivor experience to Jodi-Ann, despite Jodi-Ann’s own openness in publicly sharing her story. The two exchange tender moments, sharing for the first time what a difference it made in the growth of their friendship to fully see each other. This conversation explores different ways each has learned how to cope, how to decide what to share, and what people often get wrong in trying to help us through our recovery process. Even without chemotherapy and radiation, it can be painful and life-long, with its own path towards acceptance. Who shows up for you, and how you show up for yourself, makes a big difference on how you choose to survive.  Post Show Goodies: Juliette encourages Jodi-Ann to trust that she’ll be okay.  Here are Juliette’s listener recommendations:  Someone to know: Yourself  Something to read: Stop the Thyroid Madness by Janie A. Bowthrope    Something to listen to: “misik rasin” (Haitian roots music)  The full transcript at This episode was created during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic and the movement for Black lives.
September 14, 2020
In Defiance of Pain (with Yejin Lee)
In this episode, Yejin Lee tells Jodi-Ann about losing her mother to breast cancer during her first year as an undergraduate student at Boston College (where Jodi-Ann and Yejin met) and its impact on her then and now. This conversation hits on hard lessons about how we, as women of color relate to our bodies as we process pain. We explore the blessing and the curse that is our strength, our embodied expectation to be strong, and what it takes to heal. We talk about the 2020 movement for Black lives, the tools we use to grieve, and the power of our voices to survive. You can find Yejin at She is an equity informed career coach and non-profit organizational consultant. Post Show Goodies: Jodi-Ann asks Yejin about her mother’s name. Here are Yejin’s recommendations: Someone to know: Rebecca KellyG, an arts, equity, and justice consultant, facilitator, interdisciplinary artist, and former civil rights attorney Someone to read: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward Something to listen to: Hidden Brain, A podcast by Shankar Vedantam at NPR Episode transcripts are available at: This episode was created during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic and the movement for Black lives.
September 7, 2020
To Wake Up. To Heal. To Become This Person (with Shayla Martin)
In this episode, Jodi-Ann Burey speaks with Shayla Martin, who was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma - IDC. Shayla shares how her journey of surviving cancer and her mastectomy has completely changed the trajectory of her life: how do you cope with cancer when it's the thing that put you on the path for your purpose? Shalya provides details on the happenstance way she found her tumor and her path towards treatment. There are several parts of the cancer journey others do not see and this episode reveals a bit more of what that looks like for Black women.  Jodi-Ann and Shayla bond over always having appointments with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on the calendar, Black natural hairstyles and the markers we have in our lives because of cancer.  Jodi-Ann and Shayla also discuss passages from Audre Lorde’s book, The Cancer Journals, and how breast reconstruction has changed her relationship with her body and what it means to face your own mortality.   Post show goodies:  what we do with all the cards  what work schedules and life plans looked like after the moment of diagnosis, and  how we try to be more present in our lives.  Here are Shayla’s listener recommendations:  Someone to know: Brene Brown  Someone to read: Brene Brown’s books on vulnerability  Something to listen to: music - throw yourself a party!  Episode transcripts on Click here for the transcript for this episode.  This episode was created during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic and the movement for Black lives.
August 30, 2020