“Somewhere in the humble family cemetery off a country road in the town of Clover in southern Virginia, a woman who died nearly 60 years ago lies in an unmarked grave.”
This statement begins correspondent Jim Axelrod’s moving piece for CBS News about Henrietta Lacks. This segment, devoted to the Lacks family and Rebecca Skloot’s efforts to tell the story of Henrietta’s contributions to science and medicine, originally aired in March of 2010. See footage of interviews with author Rebecca Skloot and the Lacks family.
Radiolab, with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, is a radio show and podcast weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries. In May of 2010, they produced a podcast about “Famous Tumors,” including the one that eventually killed Henrietta Lacks and provided the cells that allowed for incredible breakthroughs in modern medicine. The voices of a doctor who treated Henrietta and a lab assistant who first worked with her cells are fascinating, but the most spellbinding parts of this piece are the raw recordings of Rebecca’s Skloot’s interviews with Henrietta’s daughter Deborah and other family members. A thoughtful and mesmerizing piece of audio-journalism.
The One Read reading panel narrowed the list of more than 90 book suggestions for the 2011 One Read choice to two top contenders. Between now and April 29, cast your vote for either “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett or “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.