The Life and Legacy of Nehanda Isoke Abiodun

A reflection on the life and legacy of Nehanda Isoke Abiodun.

We sit in her living room surrounded by Afrikan artifacts and beautiful paintings, pictures of Afrikan people. Home. The best way to describe her presence, her space. You knew you were safe to be who you are, to be whole. She pours me a glass of refresco. “So tell me about yourself. Don’t leave anything out!” I tell her everything. I go in detail about my family history, my activism, college and my reasoning for studying abroad in Cuba, and how I ended up in her living room barely able to walk and her being called to care for me. That night we stayed up 2 AM just talking shit. We talked about history, and she told me her stories, so many stories. She was the best story teller mainly because she was just so real with it. She was always real. I love that about her the most. Her authenticity was unmatched. Ever since that night, we became family. She called me her sobrina, and almost everyone I have met in Havana knows me as la sobrina. From then on, she unloaded wisdom and love onto me that I accepted whole heartedly and graciously.