A Letter From The Director
Many black women are suffering. We are suffering through physical pain that has been normalized, accepted and masked through generational silence. Women have watched centuries of progress in nearly all areas of western medicine and the development of treatments that cater to more ‘mainstream’ health discrepancies . The underrepresented fibroid patient has been held captive to her symptoms, which have been oversimplified and normalized, yet become more frequent and more obstructive every year.
This country was founded through a culture that usurped and stereotyped black women as birthers, nurturers and caregivers, with little-to-no concern for the needs of the individual person; her physical and mental healthcare was ultimately pushed behind the production of a nation. With a bruised history of servitude and rise in maternal health disparities, there exists an expanding rupture of distrust between doctor and black patient.
Black women and infertility are still rare joint topics of discussion. More recently, any specialized attention toward reproductive health issues have been hidden behind cancer research, HIV and COVID-19.
What hasn’t been invariably present is the paradigm shift needed among healthcare administrators, physicians and legislators to eradicate the epidemic of uterine fibroid tumors, which 80% of black women suffer from on a monthly and daily basis. With the constant demands of work and life at the forefront, women have used their instinctive reaction to ‘push through’ immeasurable pain that only those stricken with the reproductive disease can truly understand.
There is a societal stigma around period discussion and a general lack of empathy for reproductive complications, especially for women in underrepresented and underserved communities. We have yet to see the necessary resources allocated toward research of the fibroid epidemic, even though the mental, physical and emotional damage from the symptoms is often unimaginable.
The goal of Red Alert: The Fight Against Fibroids is to build awareness and compassion for the vast numbers of women who are suffering from fibroids and related reproductive illnesses. Our goal is to present the faces of fibroids, expressing the hopes and fears of the women whose lives have been interrupted, through thoughtful, artistic production, along with cutting edge research that could spark progressive change for millions of lives everywhere.
We have waited long enough.
No more suffering in silence.
Erica L. Taylor
Red Alert: The Fight Against Fibroids