The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2011)

In college, I taught a colloquium course to incoming freshmen to let them know about the resources and opportunities available to them on- and off-campus. We also encouraged freshmen to read a book that was selected every year to be the freshman book of the year, where we often invited the author and other people affiliated with the book to campus in a series of events.

One of the years that I taught this colloquium, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was our book. I was really keen on reading it, as a pre-med student who had just started developing an interest in social issues. (I was becoming, as the kids may say, woke.)Alas, while I worked hard to secure copies of the book for all of my students, and encouraged them to see author Rebecca Skloot and relatives of Henrietta Lacks when they were on campus, I never managed to read the book myself. (I gave my copy to a student.) So, I was really glad to have the opportunity to read a book that everyone loved that year and in the years that followed…

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