My first opportunity to watch 12 Years was in 2014 on a flight to Botswana. I decided not to watch, fearing how I might react, especially being confined on a plane for 14 hours. Would I cry uncontrollably or scream from the top of my lungs?!? I was afraid of feeling alone and vulnerable on that long international flight.
As a flipped channels tonight, something forced me to stop at BET and to watch 12 Years. Over the past two weeks I have spent focused attention on modern day medical atrocities performed against blacks. . Eugenics, J. Marion Sims, radiation experiments, and Tuskegee – experimentation by the US government that ended a few years after I was born!
A few days ago, I gave a lecture about health inequities and shared how the institution of slavery and modern day experimentation on blacks have dehumanized an entire people and continue to contribute to the poor health condition of blacks in the US. Almost everyone in that mostly white audience heard, understood, and repudiated these injustices. But I saw and felt disbelief from at least one person – someone I looked up to and respected. It angered and saddened me.
I screamed. I cried. And I am now more convinced than ever that I must continue exposing the past and advocating for the health and future of blacks in this country. May we never forget.
~One drop of knowledge can ripple through an entire community