Huge respect to Riposte and huge respect to Ericka Hart for the stunning cover for their Spring issue. For some it could be shocking and controversial, for others it can be beautiful and empowering. What it definitely is brave on both parts.
We ask ourselves when such acts of bravely and rebelliousness as hers will no longer be lorded above such imagery and acceptance being a normal occurrence? When will a cancer survivor not feel conscious of the scars they’ve endured, when will the human form in many guises be celebrated.
But this is more than just a visual statement. Ericka Hart wants to also highlight a failing and the neglect of informing black women directly through marketing about cancer prevention, citing:
“If I Google double mastectomy, what come sup are Angelina Jolie and some other white woman who is like the Susan G Komen of Europe. That’s problematic when white women are diagnosed more, but black women die faster because they go to the doctor when their cancer is at stage four versus when they could have had it removed pre-emptively.”
“When I started to see that breast cancer adverts weren’t geared towards black women and I started reading about the cancer rates for black women and that there weren’t a lot of queer black people getting checked, I was just like, “you know where there’s a lot of queer black people?” AfroPunk. I had gone every year. I was like, I want to go topless because I want to raise awareness. I wanted people to see me and check their boobs, and then it became so much more.”
When will we drop down our guards, Institutional racism, pre-concepts and stereotypical thinking to see we are all one and the same. Women, men, children, homosexuals, transgenders, cross dressers, bisexuals, transexuals, heterosexuals, asexuals, pansexuals, queer, black, white, hispanic, native, young or old – we are all individuals with our peculiarities but in the end we are all the same, we are equal.
You can order the new issue here