Hollyoaks spoilers follow.
Wednesday's (April 14) E4 first-look episode examined the ways in which Martine (Kéllé Bryan) and white love rival Grace Black's (Tamara Wall) experiences differed as they waited for the results of both of their recent cancer biopsies.
Martine was understandably concerned about her health, noting in an opening monologue that Black women are almost twice as likely as white women to be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer.
Prior to their hospital visit, the episode highlighted the ways in which unconscious bias impacted both Martine and Grace's lives due to stereotypes.
They were both late for scheduled deliveries, though the deliveryman only hassled Martine. During their interviews for Businesswoman of the Year, the interviewer offered Grace coffee and even agreed to give her extra time to chat.
The interviewer elsewhere suggested Martine had time-keeping problems, then later insisted she needed to make herself "stand out" from other "diverse candidates".
At the hospital, Martine and Grace argued over which one of them Felix truly loved, while nurse Peri Lomax panicked about double-booking them for the same appointment time.
Peri broke up the row to explain that only one of them would get to see the doctor that day. When Grace broke down into tears, Peri offered to let her go in right away and asked Martine to "have a bit of sympathy" when she objected.
"What about sympathy for me? I have a lump too. I am terrified too," Martine insisted.
Peri ordered her to "stop being so aggressive" and come back the following day for an appointment. Back at home, Martine responded to the written questions for Businesswoman of the Year.
Answering a question about 'a day in her life', she explained that she endured "constant micro-aggressions" and "constantly having to prove" herself to others.
"The most tiring things about these micro-aggressions is that they are so subtle, so covert, it's hard to prove," she wrote. "When it comes to the impact unconscious bias is having on Black lives — Black women's lives — the facts speak for themselves.
"Being a Black woman means no matter how early you get up in the morning, you never really get a head start because the game is already rigged and it's not in your favour… That place where racism and sexism meet in the middle, that's where Black women live our lives."
Martine closed out the episode on an empowering note after receiving a text from Felix letting her know he'd come to the hospital to wait for her.
She left him a voicemail to insist that she was ready to commit to him because she'd decided that if she wanted something in life, she was going to take it.
Viewers will have to tune in later this week to find out the fallout from Martine and Grace's cancer scans.
Hollyoaks currently airs new episodes from Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.
For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.
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