The Context of White Supremacy hosts the final study session on Rebecca Skloot‘s non-fiction top-seller, The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta Lacks was a black mother of five children who was afflicted with cervical cancer; she died in 1951. Suspected Racists in White lab coats looted her genetic material without authorization and have used her cells – code-named HeLa – to develop untold amounts of vaccines, cancer medications, in vitro fertilization, gene mapping and cloning – mostly to help Whites. Neither Ms. Lacks or her black family members received compensation for this likely act of “medical apartheid;” her relatives were not apprised of the genetic theft until twenty years after her death. Suspected Race Scientists continued their unethical conduct by experimenting on her children – also without consent. Last week’s segment continued to present Deborah and Zakariyya Lacks as uncouth, primitive, religious cooks. Deborah was finally able to gather medical records on her sister, Elsie; she was institutionalized under horrific conditions where thousands of black people were experimented on, abused, tortured, sexually terrorized and deprived of any fraction of humanity. Skloot vanquishes all of Deborah’s logical suspicions and extracts every grain of information like a parasite. As Skloot is a White Woman, we’ll maintain our suspicion and alertness for the taint of her likely Racist perspective on the structure of this book.
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