Over the holidays, the Nigerian-born self-taught medical illustrator Chidiebere Ibe turned a lot of heads by sharing his detailed anatomy drawings depicting Black subjects on social media. His powerful illustration of a Black pregnant woman and her unborn baby was the first to go viral in late November, catching the praise of the medical community, the media, and the public (Ibe has over 142K followers on Instagram; and before his original tweet was taken down, it was shared over 47K times and received over 332 likes, reports nbcnews.com ).
“I had no idea how much I needed to see this until I saw it!” CBS newscasters Gayle King and Nate Burleson echoed the sentiment of their long medically underrepresented community on their morning talk show.
This problem of medical textbooks neglecting minorities is one Ibe aims to solve, and for many important reasons. Not only do brilliantly rendered illustrations properly represent a historically marginalized community, but a lack of diversity in medical textbooks has led to less awareness as to how certain types of illnesses, such as seborrheic dermatitis (heat rash), present in Black patients.