Narrative Traps

The archival record, authored by the very doctor whose practices are so problematic, has given up three names: Anarcha, Lucy and Betsey. These are three of the women at the slave clinic in Montgomery , Alabama. The doctor operating on them was James Marion Sims, the inventor of the Sims speculum. Black medical student Alexandria Lynch voices her anger at the forgetting of the black women across whose bodies US medicine was advanced.


Each time we as future healthcare providers pick up a speculum we should think of Anarcha and the unimaginable sacrifice that she was forced to make for the development of this commonly-used tool. Let us never forget. (Alexandria C. Lynch, Anarcha's Story)


Let us never forget. But remembering, honoring, and ethical witnessing are problematic and difficult, and collapse too eagerly into containing narrative.

What is the action you engage in to continue this narrative?

Continue Essay here

and here

and here

and here

and what we did with it

Or go back

----- Petra Kuppers