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In 1951, an African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer. She was treated at Johns Hopkins University, where a doctor named George Gey snipped cells from her cervix without telling her. Gey discovered that Lacks’ cells could not only be kept alive, but would also grow indefinitely.

For the past 60 years Lacks’ cells have been cultured and used in experiments ranging from determining the long-term effects of radiation to testing the live polio vaccine. Her cells were commercialized and have generated millions of dollars in profit for the medical researchers who patented her tissue.

Lacks’ family, however, didn’t know the cell cultures existed until more than 20 years after her death.

In 2010 we spoke to Medical writer Rebecca Skloot who examines the legacy of Lacks’ contribution to science — and effect that has had on her family — in her bestselling book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,

Now, 62 years later the Lacks family has given consent to this controversial medical contribution. Researchers who wish to use “HeLa” cells now have to submit a request and proposal that will be reviewed by the Lacks family. This new agreement is in the interest of respecting the family’s privacy, though, they still will not profit financially from any medical study.

This is a remarkable story, both medically and ethically, about the rights we have to our bodies, even beyond the grave.

image via NPR


On April 15, 2014, two College Park white male officers assaulted Mary Hooks. Mary Hooks is a mother, sister, friend, community organizer, and a lover of her people. She witnessed an aggressive and excessive police interaction between 4 officers with their guns drawn and 2 younger Black women pulled over behind her car at a gas station. Mary came their aid by asking the women if they knew their rights and if anyone needed to be contacted.

When the two male officers approached Mary, she assured them she was standing back, she was only videotaping, and placed her hands up. These offices continue toward her, grabbed her and slammed her into the pavement, pushed her head into the ground with their knees, resulting in a scrab on her head and a fractured elbow.

Subsequently, she was arrested, her truck was impounded, and she was charged with obstructing and public disorderly conduct. Both having fines and possible jail time.

On behalf of Mary Hooks, community we are asking for your support to raise $3,500.00 cover her legal fees and fines. 

Please Share and Donate!


Ferguson Police have dogs and shotguns. The unarmed crowd is raising their hands.

For anyone not following the Mike Brown story on Twitter: a 17 year old black boy named Mike Brown, who was supposed to start college tomorrow, was shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri by police while jaywalking. He was unarmed. He was shot 9 times.

Initial media reports claimed that an 18 year old black man had been shot and killed while fleeing police after shoplifting.

People in the neighborhood, including members of Mike Brown’s family, came out of their homes and began to protest, shouting “no justice, no peace,” and keeping their hands in the air.

Media reports claimed that a violent mob quickly formed around the shooting location shouting “kill the police.”

Spread this. Tell the truth about what happened to this boy. Tell the truth about what is happening NOW. The police and the mainstream media is painting him as a criminal, and his community as a violent mob.

SPREAD THIS. Don’t let them lie.

(Source: whatwhiteswillneverknow)

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