Black doctor are sharing viral TikTok videos on how they’re treated differently in hoodies

Dr. Emeka Okorocha / TikTok Dr. Kojo Sarfo / TikTok Dr. Kojo Sarfo / TikTok

Black doctors say they’re ‘celebrated’ in scrubs—but feared in hoodies

It's become a powerful social media movement.


Samira Sadeque


Published Jun 15, 2020   Updated Jun 15, 2020, 1:43 pm CDT

Black doctors are sharing TikTok videos of themselves in scrubs, followed by appearances in their hoodies to address racial profiling.

The trend seems to have started with a doctor in London who went viral for a TikTok video on how people treat him differently when he’s in his scrubs as opposed to when he’s seen in a hoodie. 

Dr. Emeka Okorocha, 27, shared the video on June 3 on his TikTok, where he has more than 115,000 followers. 

The video is set against Childish Gambino’s Grammy-winning “This Is America”—a 2018 hit that laid bare the race politics of gun violence against the Black community in America. 

It starts with Okorocha smiling in his scrubs, with the text, “If you celebrate me in my scrubs.” He then zooms his left palm into the lens, and then emerges in a hoodie with the text, “Don’t hate me in my hoodie.”

Then another text appears, “No racism, no discrimination.” 

The video has since been viewed more than 830,000 times, way higher than his regular views which range from 50,000-100,000 views. 

Earlier this month, he shared a note thanking his followers for the support he received. 

“Don’t love [when] is just when it’s trendy or convenient,” he said in the caption of the post where he shared the video, “Love us when it’s hard, when you may be criticised when you may be scared or embarrassed. That’s when we really will feel you stand with us.”

The Instagram video has received almost 15,000 views. 

“I don’t want to be clapped for and celebrated when I have my Scrubs and PPE on only to see myself and others who look just like me racially profiled for wearing a simple hoody,” he wrote later in the post.

His post then inspired another Black doctor in the U.S. to share a similar video, the Daily Mail reported.

Dr. Kojo Sarfo, in collaboration with another doctor who on social media identifies himself only as docjp3, produced a similar video on Thursday:

In the collaboration video, both doctors appear in two separate windows, at first in their scrubs, against the background of “This is America.”

Similar to Dr. Okorocha’s video, the text in this scene says, “If you celebrate me in my scrubs.”

The doctors then do a head-bump against the screen and appear in their hoodies.

“Don’t profile me in my hoodie,” the text continues. 

The sentence then changes to “Don’t fear me in my hoodie,” and then changes to “Don’t shoot me in my hoodie.”

The video ends with the text, “Everybody vs. racism.” 

The doctors, who have between 98,000 to 145,000 followers each, have used their platforms to address racism before as well. 

These videos appeared amid the global protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd on May 25. Prior to that, the doctor identifying as @docjp3, shared how the current pandemic was disproportionately affecting Black Americans and invited his followers for a conversation on racism. 

“We are at a pivotal point in history. We are battling a global pandemic. The injustices, disparities, systemic racism, etc. that plague black and brown communities are only being magnified by Covid,” he wrote. “Modern technology allows the world to see that racism is alive and well.”

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*First Published: Jun 15, 2020, 1:42 pm CDT