Bless the Blood

Walela Nehanda



A debut collection of poetry and essays that follows the healing journey of a Black cancer patient who faces medical racism after being diagnosed with leukemia in their early twenties.

When Walela is diagnosed at twenty-three with advanced stage blood cancer, they’re suddenly thrust into the unsympathetic world of tubes and pills, doctors who don’t use their correct pronouns, and hordes of “well-meaning” but patronizing people as they try to raise funds online. But Walela’s diagnosis also becomes a catalyst for their self-realization.

As they fill out forms in the Medicaid office in downtown Los Angeles or travel to therapy in the wealthy part of town, it becomes clear that cancer is where all forms of their oppression intersect: Disabled. Fat. Black. Queer. Nonbinary.

In the tradition of Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals, the author details a galvanizing account of their survival despite America’s medical system, and of the struggle to face death unafraid.

ISBN 9780593529492
List price $18.99
Publisher Kokila
Year of publication 2024