Henrietta Lacks Women

Great Essays
“Bobette stormed over to Galen and Ethel’s house, and burst in their front door screaming that if either of them touched one of those Lacks children again, she’d kill them herself” (Skloot, 115). This was the first time the Lacks children were truly stood up for, at least since their mother passed. For too many years, Deborah, Sonny, and Joe were harassed, abused and neglected. They were voiceless and they had no one to look up to. Until Bobette came into their lives, and with open arms she gave them a second chance. In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks readers are exposed to heartbreaking depictions of child abuse and the lasting effects of negative role models. However, readers are also able to see the other side, how positive role models …show more content…
As Zakkariyya grew up, his violent tendencies were often attributed to the abuse he received. According to The Center for Parenting Education, this connection is accurate, as children who witness domestic abuse or are victims of abuse themselves are more likely to take part in those kind of activities as adults (Krisbergh). Zakkariyya’s fighting eventually led him to prison with murder charges. He turned himself in and his plea to the court showed his sincerity. This, accompanied by the psychiatric evaluation, led the judge to offer Zakkariyya a shortened sentence. While in prison, Zakkariyya found religion. The book doesn't go into great depths about Zakkariyya’s transformation, but religious conversions in prison are not uncommon. There are countless reports of inmates struggling with violence and other forms of bad behavior who find religion and are reported to significantly improve (Johnson). It is safe to assume that Zakkariyya being let out of prison early, on an already shortened sentence, can be linked not only to his religious conversion but also to Bobbette and her influence. The Lacks family, including Bobbett, have been described throughout the book as people of faith (Skloot). Though it is true that there is no mention of their faith being Islamic, the path …show more content…
grew up with many positive influences and still ended up in trouble with the law. However, if one were to look closely at Alfred Jr.’s situation they would see that many of the influences in his life were preoccupied dealing with and understanding HeLa. They may not have had the time to make a profound effect on Alfred Jr., his guidance was put on hold, causing him to look towards others who offered him a more negative influence. If Alfred Jr. had had the chance to truly experience the guidance of Bobbette, Deborah, and others, I believe he wouldn’t have been involved in such situations as he was. Alfred Jr. isn’t the only Lacks decedent, and compared to many he is somewhat of an outlier. As the stress of HeLa started to die down for the Lacks, there was a greater push towards family. The effects of this are clear when reading the final chapters of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, as readers are informed of the success and plans of the younger Lacks family members. Deborah rests well knowing the children are going to school, getting their education and specifically Davon is going to college (Skloot). Deborah, and others, were finally able to put family first and the children who looked up to them were guided towards making better

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