Oprah Winfrey and the Immortal Reach of Henrietta Lacks
By Yanick Rice Lamb
Deborah Lacks grew up without her mother, who died when she was only 2 years old. Her longing for details about her mother’s life is a key aspect of the new HBO film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, with Oprah Winfrey as co-star and an executive producer.
Henrietta Lacks’ life was cut short at age 31 after a debilitating bout with cervical cancer. However, her cells have lived on as a medical gift that keeps on giving—without her knowledge or consent. The film, adapted from Rebecca Skloot’s best-selling book of the same name, depicts the multiplier effect of Lacks’ cells on her family, other African Americans, science, medical ethics, and the birth of the multi-billion-dollar biotech industry. Continue reading
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“Villages preserve culture: dress, food and dance are a few examples. As villages grow in population and turn into towns, local cafes make way for large American chains. Handmade leather sandals are discarded for a pair of Western sneakers.
Due to its small size, a village fosters a tight-knit sense of community. Justpeace.org explains the meaning of the African proverb, “It takes a village,” by stating that a sense of community is critical to maintaining a healthy society.
Village members hold a wealth of information regarding their heritage: they know about the ancient traditions, methods of production and the resources of the land. When villages become dispersed or exterminated in times of war, this anthropological knowledge disappears.
Large cities are not as conducive to growing and producing foods such as fruits and vegetables. Villages, on the other hand, usually have ample amounts of land and other resources necessary for growing conditions.” The Importance of Villages by Catherine Capozzi
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