The Root Recommends: 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks'

Discover the remarkable story of Henrietta Lacks, the woman whose cells were taken without her knowledge and later used for several scientific breakthroughs. 

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hanriettalacks

If you aren't familiar with HeLa cells, you have to pick up Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, available in paperback now. The book tells the remarkable life story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor tobacco farmer whose cells were taken without her consent and later used as cell samples to research diseases like polio, cancer and HIV.

While the book is a biography of the woman who gave us the first "immortal" human cells, it also explores the legal and moral issues that arise once her family discovers this untold story. This book will undoubtedly remind you of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment and whether the topic of race and economic status played a part in her riveting story. 

Previous recommendation: 'Desert Flower.'

Got ideas for The Root Recommends? Send them to recommendations@theroot.com.

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