S: By: Haley Jackson
FC: Henrietta Lacks Rhetoric Book | 10/25/11
1: "The reason Henrietta's cells were so precious was because they allowed scientists to perform experiments that would have been impossible with a living human."
2: Dear Ms. Rebecca Skloot, I just wanted to say thank ya so much for everything ya have done for my family and me. I have grown so much as a person and learned a lot 'bout science with your help, I do regret not talkin' to ya right away and some times ignorin' ya. Can't ya see I was scared? Them doctors took my ma's cells without even askin' and I thought you was one of them. I didn't know what to expect and ya kept on callin'. I'm real glad I answered and got to talk to ya. I woulda never been where I am today if ya hadn't kept buggin' me. My family 'preciates everything ya did too. We was a big mess when ya first came around. But with your help we got betta' and are now able to accept that our ma's cells were taken from her. I will not give up on makin' my mama known all around the world, I just won't. But I can stop my stressin' and cryin' because you have made me stronger. Thank ya Ms. Rebecca! I can't wait to read that book of your's. Sincerely, Deborah "Dale" Lacks-Pullum | Unsent Letter
3: The rhetorical device I used in the unsent letter was tone. Deborah writes to Skloot because she is thankful. Her thankfulness is brought to life by the use of word choice.. It is easy to see that she is happy and grateful to have met Rebecca Skloot. | "Since at least the 1800s, black oral history has been filled with tales of 'night doctors' who kidnapped black people for research. And there were disturbing truths behind these stories," (165). | an example of Tone From the book | This excerpt from the book shows tone in many ways. The words disturbing and kidnapped really help set the mood for this part of the book. The use of words like these make people afraid, which is exactly what Skloot wanted to do. She wanted to inform people about why blacks were afraid of hospitals and medical research and make her readers feel it too.
4: Split-Open Mind | A major decision that had to be made in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks involved Deborah "Dale" Lacks and the author of the book, Rebecca Skloot. Rebecca Skloot keeps calling the Lacks family to get in touch with Deborah but the family eventually stops answering and Skloot is under the impression she will never get to have a conversation with Deborah Lacks. Finally, Deborah calls Skloot back, making the decision to talk to her and get involved with what she is doing to write her book. | Before the decision, Deborah felt overwhelmed. She was bitter because doctors took her mother's cells without consent and she felt like that was wrong. She was mad that her mom's cells were doing so much for the medical world but her family was still poor. She couldn't trust anyone anymore. | After the decision, Deborah felt relieved. Talking to Skloot about everything was one of the best choices she had ever made. Her family and her were finally getting the attention they deserved, and so was her mom. She still wasn't seeing any profit, but she was okay with that. She was paid with knowledge and happiness, so was her family.
5: The rhetorical device I used in the split-open mind was irony. Deborah made a big decision to get involved with Skloot and make her mother well known. I think one of the main reasons she called Skloot was because she wanted money, she deserved money. The irony of the whole thing is that even after she stuck with Skloot the whole way, she never made a penny. But she was happy about it. She ended up not caring about the money, she was just excited that the world knew her mother for who she really was, not just HeLa. | EXAMple of irony from the book | "When Deborah was a junior in highschool, at the age of sixteen, she was pregnant with her first child," (144). | Irony is an outcome of events contrary to what was expected. This excerpt shows irony because Henrietta, Deborah's mother, was pregnant when she was 14 years old. You would think that Deborah would learn from her mother's mistakes, but she did not. She got pregnant at a young age as well.
6: Negro Insane | "Her head is twisted unnaturally to the left, chin raised and held in place by a large pair of white hands," (273). | "Inmates weren't separated by age or sex, and often included sex offenders," (275). | "Patients were locked in poorly ventilated cell blocks with drains on the floor instead of toilets," (275). | In the mid 1900s, it wasn't normal to see cases of epilepsy or frequent seizures. Negros with these diseases needed to be sent somewhere, so the Crownsville Hospital for the Negro Insane was built. The patients suffered from poor treatment and were never cured, even if it was possible.
7: The informational brochure on the Negro insane shows support because I am supporting the fact that blacks were mistreated with evidence from the book. | "Joe grew into the meanest, angriest child any Lacks had ever known, and the family started saying something must have happened to his brain while he was growing inside Henrietta alongside that cancer," (112). | This quote from the book shows support because Joe was raised and abused by Ethel, who took her anger for Henrietta out of Henrietta's kids. Joe experienced the worst of her wrath, which is why he was described as a mean and angry child.
8: Narrative Storyboard | Frame #1 | Frame #2 | Frame #3 | Frame #4 | Frame #5 | "... The only time white people called Day was when they wanted something having to do with HeLa cells," (14). | "Two months after Sonny Lacks stood me up, I sat waiting for him again, this time in the lobby of the Baltimore Holiday Inn," (158). | "Deborah says you got to talk to our brother Lawrence before anybody else talk to you. He'll check you out, decide what's what. If he say it's okay, maybe then the rest of us will talk to you," (159). | "They spending eternity in the same place," he told me, laughing. "They must've worked our their problems by now!" (122). | "As Deborah wrapped a hundful of mini-muffins in a napkin for later, she looked up at me and said, "We're okay, Boo," (285).
9: "But today when people talk about the history of Hopkins relationship with the black community, the story many of them hold up as the worst offense is that of Henrietta Lacks - a black woman whose body, they say, was exploited by white scientists," (168). | Point of view is shown in the narrative story board in many ways. The whole storyboard is based off the thoughts of the Lacks family and how they felt about white people. Their point of view at first was bad. They thought whites only called for science or money, not to tell them about their mother. It gradually got better when Sonny Lacks decided to meet with Skloot. It continued to get better when Sonny told Skloot that the rest of the family, even Deborah, might actually talk to her. Then, Cliff jokes about how the whites and blacks will be spending forever together in their graves so they better be getting along by now. And last but not least, Deborah, one of the hardest Lacks relatives to communicate with, calls Skloot "Boo." This nickname ties everything up. Skloot, a white person, is no longer considered a reporter, but one of Deborah's closest friends, her "Boo." | Example of POV From the Book | This quote rom the book shows point of view because it is describing how a lot of people see the historic relatoinship between Johns Hopkins and black people. It is a stated opinion that they think the worst thing Hopkins has done involves Henriette Lacks and her immortal cells.
10: Sketchbook Journal | The main conflict in the book is the fact that Henrietta Lacks' cells did so much for the medical world but couldn't help her family and relatives... | The biggest conflict in Skloot's book is the fact that the HeLa cells did so much for the medical industry and still were not able to help Henrietta's family at all. They were a poor, black family in the 1900s. They all worked all the time. When Henrietta's cells were taken and found to be immortal, the family should have recieved a call and a large sum of money. The fact that the HeLa cells were able to provide others with better lives but not people who were immediate relatives to the woman who made this all happen is crazy. | The visual I chose is a happy face, health insurance, and money. If the Lacks family were informed about the cells and given money for it then they would have been able to afford so much more, including healthcare, to make them happy.
11: The rhetorical device used in the sketchbook journal is logos. It is obvious that if the family would have been informed about HeLa cells that they would be able to be much happier in life. They would no longer have to wonder what the cells were doing and they could actually keep themselves under healthcare insurance or once. All of these things would make the Lacks family happier than ever. | "For Henrietta, walking in to Hopkins was like entering a foreign country where she didn't speak the language," (16). | This quote from the book shows logos because it is a literal analogy used to make people understand how she feels when going to the hospital. If a human were to go to a country and not know a bit of the language there, they would feel out of place and foolish. This is how Henrietta feels when she goes to the hospital. Everyone is smarter than her and she can't really understand what they are talking about. Skloot uses this analogy to help readers understand Henrietta's emotions. | Example of Logos From the Book
12: The End
22: How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You! | Live well, laugh often, love much
24: "He holds her hand,She holds his heart."
25: To the world you may be one person, but to me you are the world.