A recent study from Duke University’s School of Medicine found that the available HPV vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, don’t prevent the HPV infections common in black women. Gardasil and Cervarix protect against HPV 16, HPV 18, HPV 6 and HPV 11 — strains that are notorious for causing cervical cancers. The only problem? HPV 16 and 18 occur more in white women than black women, who tend to show HPV subtypes 33, 35, 58, and 68. So while white women might also not be protected from all strains by the HPV vaccine, they are certainly in a much safer position than black women.
“HPV 16 and 18 occur less frequently in African-Americans than in whites,” Dr. Cathrine Hoyo, associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Duke University School of Medicine, told Health Day. Duke’s study looked at 600 abnormal pap smears and found that almost 86 percent of the women examined had detectable HPV. Yet, as Hoyo explained, “African-Americans had half the HPV 16 and 18 frequency as whites did.”
As Bustle reported last summer, this disparity may be the reason that African-American women are 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer…It’s upsetting that Gardasil leaves many black women without adequate protection against HPV and cervical cancer. Conflating the healthcare needs of white women with those of black women keeps us from accessing adequate treatment in multiple areas, and this is especially troubling when it comes to HPV. Had there been funding for a vaccine specifically designed for my black, female body, a shot that protects my body as well as it does white women, I might very well be HPV-free today.
This is so important!
I never know what to ask and end up looking like a fool cause I don’t have a question prepared.
Don’t be me.
People have offered many potential explanations for this discrepancy, but this ad highlights the importance of the social cues that push girls away from math and science in their earliest childhood years.
This is so important. Girls pay attention. Boys, if you are a brother, father, cousin of a girl, pay attention.
You know you take equality to a whole new level when you refuse to call your female dog just pretty. I call her smart and funny and sweet just so she knows she’s worth more than her looks 🙊🐾 #trainingearlytobeahumanmom
"The Book of Negroes" Miniseries First Official Trailer.
The series is a film adaption of Canadian author Lawrence Hill’s award-winning novel The Book of Negroes. The book, which won the top 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, follows the story of Aminata Diallo, a young girl in Segou, Mali, kidnapped, enslaved and transported on a ship to the United States.
Like most enslaved Africans in the Americas, Diallo’s experience is marred by the cruelty of the racist white supremacist system of the time. But what stands out about this fictional tale is that Diallo becomes one of the few African-Americans to record her name in the “Book of Negroes" - an actual historic document that was used to record the names of enslaved African-Americans who managed to escape to British territory during the American Revolutionary War. After serving the British, these individuals were eventually evacuated and relocated to Sierra Leone and other British colonies.
These Black Loyalists, as they are now referred to, that settled in Sierra Leone have their descendents in the Creole or Krio population of the country. Once such loyalist was Henry Washington, a former slave of George Washington, who escaped slavery and eventually settled in Freetown, Sierra Leone. There, he led a rebellion against the colonial British government which led to him being banished to another part of the country.
The Book of Negroes, largely filmed in Cape Town, South Africa, is due to make its debut at Cannes in October before eventually being screened on BET in the United States. The miniseries stars Aunjanue Ellis, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Lou Gossett Jr.
CultureSOUL: Frederick Douglass - Independence Day, 1852
"I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn."
"The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro"
As descendants of African American slaves, and in this post-12 YEARS era, we must be compelled to remember our history accurately. This means it is important to acknowledge the historical fact that ‘independence’ in 1776 did not come for black folks. Our freedom came nearly 100 years later.
The historical giant Frederick Douglass, as the most famous ‘free negro’ in America and the voice of the anti-slavery movement, was asked to speak to a white audience on this day in 1852. His speech (full text linked below) remains one of the most damning indictments of slavery and the hypocrisy of the holiday (at that time) that’s ever been recorded.
While he expressed deep respect for the founding fathers and their ideals, he then asked his nation, but why not for all? Douglass went on to deliver a blistering indictment and spoke of his anger at being asked to revere a country that continued to keep his brothers in chains. This powerful speech became one of his most famous and it serves to remind us of the towering legacy of Frederick Douglass and his righteous fight for his people and his country.
Full text of speech
Excerpts read by Morgan Freeman (Video)
- Frederick Douglass c. 1860s
- Slave family in Cotton field near Savannah, GA c. 1860 (courtesy of Corbis images)