Revival of the Forgotten: The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks

Author: Sherry Helms

Explore science, society and racism with a new dimension of truth and justice, passion and compassion. This book is highly recommended for every responsible social citizen throughout the world. Let us consider every single human being, lying at the bottom of every development.

Henrietta Lacks- HeLa to scientists, was a Southern small tobacco farmer. All her dying cancerous cells were taken away from her without her knowledge. The cells or HeLa have been ‘immortal’ since then, cultured for an immortal cell line in medical research. The cells are now sold in billions and they are instrumental in developing polio vaccines, uncovering secrets of cancer and advancing studies of cloning and genetics.

Henrietta Lacks life become immortal as  it was sacrificed selflessly for the future generation. But what is the value of such immortality? Has she or her family ever been given justice for such a huge contribution? Have ever light of hope reached her family? Rebecca Skloot unfolds all the answers in her bestseller novel The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, an eye- opener for all of us.

After such a noble contribution, the most deprived and victimized ones remain Henrietta’s own family. Deborah, her daughter was shattered and shocked to learn what happened to her mother. While Henrietta is one of the central figure in the developments of medicine, then why her own daughter had to die at the age of fifteen, without any medical insurance? “If our mother cells done so much for medicine, how come her family can’t afford to see no doctors?” Deborah asked.

The name of Henrietta remains buried under some nameless remote grave.  Is this how science progresses? Exploitation of the poor and the uneducated, is this the ethics that science follows?

Rebecca Skloot is brilliant in her revelations of the dark social and economic conditions of Afro- Americans. Their bodies are merely used for experimentation illegally, without any recognition or acknowledgment. Rebecca pours down all her heart, mind and soul into the novel and became an integral part of the Lacks family for the last ten years.

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