October 12, 2010

Category: Art, Hot Grrrls, Real Talk

MFON: Breast Cancer Fighter

I’ve written about photographer and activist Mfon Essien several times since I first interviewed her back in the fall of 2000. I hung out with her for most of that lovely afternoon in her living room. She was battling breast cancer, but that day there were very few signs of struggle or even weakness. We laughed, sipped tea and talked about what it meant to be sexy. For two young Black women this chat was revelatory indeed, but Mfon had been diagnosed in 1998 with terminal breast cancer and at this point had undergone a major mastectomy. She also had, however, taken the most amazing, unbelievable photographs of herself in the nude. She was sensual, gully and so damn grande!

I (photographed myself) specifically to heal immediately and to get over the mourning. I was like ‘you don’t have a breast and you’re not having plastic surgery anytime soon. So get it together and feel sexy today. Take these pictures now! ~Mfon Essien

On February 14, 2001, Mfon’s physical body took final rest from the war she was fighting against cancer. I remember her everyday and I try to honor her through my words, my ideas and my stories. Read my tribute for Mfon from last year for more info cause I really can’t top that post.

Lastly get a mammogram and if you have a history of breast cancer in your fam please get tested even if you aren’t 40. Mfon wasn’t even 35 when she died. Let her life be testimony and lesson for us all.

Tags: , ,

6 Responses to “MFON: Breast Cancer FighterComment RSS feed

  • Erikka
    October 12th, 2010 3:38 pm

    Nicole, Thanks for sharing this with your readers! While there are more white women diagnosed with breast cancer, women of color are more likely to die from the disease. The best prevention is early detection. Sometimes we get so busy with life that we ignore the signs our bodies are giving us. Our breast health is something we shouldn’t dismiss.

  • Dexter
    October 12th, 2010 4:11 pm

    I loved that woman. Thank you for keeping her legacy alive.

  • sharon
    October 12th, 2010 5:11 pm

    Thank you for this Nicole. Mfon inspired many. Rest in peace fierce warrior woman.

  • eisa
    October 13th, 2010 6:57 am

    it is always good to be reminded of mfon’s fierce personal power.


  • florence tate
    October 13th, 2010 7:30 pm

    thanks for such strong writing about this important issue.
    a breast cancer survivor.

  • theHotness
    October 21st, 2010 12:28 pm
    Author's Reply

    If I can, I will write about Mfon every Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She’s such a huge inspiration for me!