I just want to say thank you to Len Webb aka ‘Cruze’ and his posse for having me on their weekly, two-hour online radio show, The REC, this past Wednesday night at G-Town Radio in Philadelphia. It was nice to open my e-mailbox Wednesday morning with his note.
I’ve read your blog on the case of Henrietta Lacks and the episode of Law and Order. The episode inspired us to spend some time tonight June 9th on the program discussing the issue. I planned to reference your blog and your thoughts on the show but I was hoping you might be available to talk to via phone and share your thoughts live on air. Its always better to have the actual writer behind the words than my reinterpretation.
I hope you will be able to join our conversation.
For the record: Anytime anyone wants to talk with me about topics on the blog with a larger audience, I’m game.
I’ve been amazed at how broad the attention has been to Rebecca Skloot’s book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, about the woman whose cervical cancer was the source of the first continuously-cultured human cell line. In particular, the Henrietta Lacks story has been a great focus for discussion among the African-American community and, despite the injustices at the time, a great source of pride today.
I learned during my ~20 min appearance (beginning around 46:00) that The REC Radio Show’s appropriately-named Scholar 3000 first saw my post on the Law & Order adaptation of the Henrietta Lacks story (apologies that the recording of my call-in is broken up at times but it was totally clear during the webcast).
Much of what we discussed at the end is who is the “who” that should provide compensation to the Lacks family for the dollars made subsequent to dissemination of the cells, a topic deserving of a separate post.
We also spent a good amount of time talking about the role of African-American scientists at Tuskegee University’s HeLa mass production facility funded by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, now March of Dimes, that supported efficacy testing for the Salk polio vaccine.
What I really appreciated at 1:05:05 is that Cruze told listeners about The Henrietta Lacks Foundation and promoted the link where folks can provide donations to a scholarship fund that will benefit the education of Lacks family members.
I also loved how Cruze so naturally referred to me as “Abe” – one of my favorite derivations of any of my real or online names.
So thanks Cruze, Lonnie, and Scholar 3000 for hosting me and sharing the story of Henrietta Lacks with your listeners in the Philly’s G-Town.
The entire podcast can be accessed or downloaded at The REC Radio Show website.