In 2014, at the age of 28, Ericka Hart was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. When she searched for pictures of women who had undergone double mastectomies, she couldn’t find anyone who resembled her. For the past year, Hart, now 30, has made it her duty to change that, starting with using her body to raise awareness and ultimately help to create Google search results where black women who are diagnosed can see themselves.
The diagnosis forced Hart, a professional sexuality educator, to look at the prejudices against those with chronic illness, their bodies and their relationships with sex. While undergoing treatment, she found that doctors were prone to educating her about everything except her deteriorating sex drive as a queer woman. So she did her own research and wrote a 40-page curriculum for future breast cancer patients about how various treatments will affect their sex lives.
From outspoken speeches to nude photoshoots, Hart is disrupting the world’s misinformed idea of what a breast cancer survivor looks like.
To see more of our interview with Ericka order your copy of issue #8 here.
All photography by Shaniqwa Jarvis.