Youth In Revolt: a Conversation with Faith & Odette Duggan

As a middle-aged, middle class white guy, my thoughts on race in America are not exactly in great demand. So I wanted to speak this week with someone whose perspective was far more direct and visceral.

Faith Duggan — a native New Yorker and 19-year-old rising sophomore at Clark University in Massachusetts — is two things I decidedly am not:

Young and Black.

I’ve known Faith and her sister Isabella since birth. For our conversation, Faith was joined by her mother, my friend Odette Duggan, who is field support liaison for the New York City Department of Education, with a background in pluralism, diversity, and education management, and has been one of my wife Ferne’s closest friends since college.

The Duggan family touches on numerous, complex aspects of race in America. Odette was raised by a single mother who came from the Dominican Republic in the early Sixties. Her mother, Diana Cabrera, was a medical technician at Mount Sinai Hospital and worked tirelessly to send her to Nightingale-Bamford School, one of Manhattan’s most elite all-girls private schools, where Odette was one of only three Black students in her class. She graduated in 1983 and went on to USC (which she will tell you is another bastion of whiteness), graduating in 1987, and subsequently earning her…



Robert Edwards / The King's Necktie

Writer, filmmaker, and veteran — blogging at The King’s Necktie @TheKingsNecktie