Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lesson 25: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


Pay homage to Henrietta Lacks.

Life Lesson:

Many folks will remember Henrietta Lacks and her life because of a book published about her. This book will be deeply problematic for numerous reasons. What you will need to remember is to pay homage to her in the ways you can and that make the best sense to you.

This may mean continuing your journey working to educate folks on HPV and cervical cancer. This will become even more important to you when you have cancerous cells on your cervix. The fact that you are benefiting from the medical abuse and misuse of her body and the legacy of her family will trouble you for eternity. How can you find so much survival in the abuse of another Black woman's body?

You will be absorbed in figuring this out. It impacts you so intimately. You will write about it and ask for suggestions and others will be at a loss. You will attend events throughout Maryland, DC, and NYC. Still looking. You begin to realize that the way you can pay homage to Henrietta Lacks is to take care of your body in the ways she was not able to take care of hers because of anti-Black racism, sexism, misogyny, and structural -isms.

This means reminding yourself how powerful you are when you go to the gym and lift weights. It means asking your homies if they want to go to the gym with you, even when they say over and over they cannot. This means creating the discipline to take care of your body in the ways you can at this time. That is the homage you can pay to Henrietta and all she's offered you, others, and this world we know today.

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