The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Questions and Answers
by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks book cover
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In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, is race an issue?

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kcoleman2016 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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That's a pretty broad question. Let me answer it in a couple of different ways. 

First of all, yes. Race is an issue because of the context of the events discussed in the book. She was a woman of color in a time where doctors were almost solely white men. There is no way that race was not an issue whatsoever. 

However, this does not mean that race was the only issue, and if the reader chooses to do so, it does not even have to be the most important issue. There were a lot of issues that contributed to the progression in TILOHL: gender, socioeconomic status, medical power structures, education, privacy vs. the greater good, and more. 

  • Henrietta was a woman patient in a medical environment, which was at the time populated with mostly men
  • Henrietta was poorer than...

    (The entire section contains 405 words.)

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