The Black Cabinet: The Untold Story of African Americans and Politics During the Age of Roosevelt by Jill Watts was our Mocha Girls Read book club selection in June. It became a very timely selection after the horrible death of George Floyd, which shone a brighter light on Black Lives Matter activism in America. As a Black woman, I was suffering from emotional exhaustion during that time. This history book actually helped put so many current things in perspective. We have come a long way, […]
CBR12 BINGO: Orange Square (BINGO! Red to Violet) Nearly four decades after after her death, a young black woman, Henrietta Lacks, captures the imagination of Rebecca Skloot, a sixteen year old budding scientist and writer. After a science class discussion on HeLa cells, and their important contributions to modern medicine, Skloot wanted to know more about the woman whose cancer cells were (and still are) part of many major medical advancements. Who was she? Did she have a family? Do they understand the significant role she plays […]
The world owes a huge debt Henrietta Lacks: much of our modern health care was developed using cell lines grown from her tissue. Henrietta was a working class black woman who died from cervical cancer in 1951 and the tissue that was so important was a biopsy of her cervical tissue, taken without good evidence of her having known or consented to that use (although the book does note that the lack of consent was in keeping with the medical ethics of its time). Today, […]
I’m not sure when I turned a corner, but in previous non-fiction reviews I would always say, “I don’t read a lot of non-fiction buuuut…” somehow, as I’m look at maybe my 10th non-fiction review in the past two years, I think I’ve turned into a non-fiction reader. It’s still a bit of a struggle at times, I get bogged down when there are a multitude of characters, but I have really grown to enjoy learning about real life accounts, particularly memoirs and historical accounts […]
There was a heaviness to my chest after I finished Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010). I was in the midst of what felt like a social, emotional, philosophical, and moral gyre that highlighted the uglies of science, race, poverty, and many —isms. I couldn’t put into words what I was feeling because there was just too much. Read the full review.