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Black Studies 4 Week 6 Notes - Battle


Black Studies 4 Week 6 Notes - Battle Black Studies 4

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All notes from lectures and section from week 6 in Black Studies 4 with Professor Battle
Critical Introduction to Race and Racism
Class Notes
UCSB, Black Studies, BLST 4, BLST, Battle
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by on Friday May 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Black Studies 4 at University of California Santa Barbara taught by Battle in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Critical Introduction to Race and Racism in Black Studies at University of California Santa Barbara.

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Date Created: 05/06/16
Monday, May 2, 2016 Week 6 Lecture 11 - May 2, 2016 - Moving into the main text for the class: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Film (1998): The Way of All Flesh by Adam Curtis (filmed before the human • genome was sequenced, gives background to the story of Henrietta Lacks) - 3 central themes: • Exchange: Gift giving; Reciprocity through the lens of race and equality; Is it possible to exchange in an environment that is full of inequality? • Informed Consent: Do you own your the rights to your body? Does it belong to you? Does a tumor belong to you? If money is made from your bodily tissues, are you entitled to any of it? • Kinship: What does it mean to be related? - The most famous female in medical history, but is essentially given no recognition • Whit supremacy doesn’t want a black women to have this title? - In a sense, Henrietta’s cells have destroyed science • Introduced a new pessimism in science; no one can understand HeLa cells, how they multiply, and why/why not they can/can not be applied to certain areas of science • Think about: - Henrietta Lack’s was born on a slave plantation • Grew up during the Jim Crow era Was placed in the colored ward of the hospital • - In death, she is freer than she was in life Section - May 3, 2016 - Class discussion on The Way of All Flesh, lecture, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Part 1 1 Monday, May 2, 2016 • Who is Henrietta Lacks? - Orphan, split between her 10 siblings to live with extended family (grew up with grandparents), worked as a “tobacco grower” • Tobacco grower; field job; no different than Share Cropping; no different than slavery; lived in former plantations/slave quarters • Came from a mixed family (half of her family was white); gave her some type of privilege… maybe as an individual she may have had some privilege every once in awhile, but overall, her poor socioeconomic standing gave her a 6th/ 7th grade education and she owned no property - Grew up during Jim Crow era (direct reaction to liberating African American slaves) • Jim Crow = aggressive (physically) time towards African Americans • What if she had been white? What if she had been a white male? - Doctor in charge of the lab told his assistant to write down Henrietta Lacks (black female) identity down as Helen Lane (white female) • Henry Lacks (male) - identity would be well known everywhere • Recognition and representation was not given. Why not? - She had no informed consent that they were taking a sample from her and using it to test • “If black people want to receive free health care, we should get free samples from their body to help propel science forward” • Why did he change the name? To avoid getting sued - He knew what he was doing was unethical and shady by using her tissue samples without her permission These experiences helped guide research processes today • Lecture 12 - May 4, 2016 - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks • Ethical history - Henrietta and her family were seen as “desirable” study subjects by scientists 2 Monday, May 2, 2016 - Syphilis in African American populations; government wanted to see what would happen if syphilis went untreated in an A.A. population • Study was conducted from the 1930’s to 1970s - Bioethical Matriarchy: Race, and the Gift in Genomics • Henrietta Lacks - Matriarch? - Labeled as a matriarch in scientific studies and published readings • Sub-Saharan Diversity, Gender, and the Genome - High percentage of European Y-chromosomes in the African American population - Makes Mitochondrial (mt)DNA a better locus of study - A circular, maternally-derived genome - Performs no recombination, is traceable and more copies of it are available for study • “Just like their matriarch, the Lacks family continues to have a significant impact on medical progress by providing access to an important scientific tool that researchers will use to study the cause and effect of many diseases with the goal of developing treatment.” (Francis Collins, 7 August 2013) - Problematic; Henrietta Lacks did not give permission; frames the family as a biological resource and implicates labor value; radicalized and gendered forms of labor; reveals cultural forms of exchange and obligations to reciprocate • “(Now) the directed of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Francis Collins, is trying to make up for decades of slights. Over the past four months, he has met Lacks family members to answer questions and to discuss what should be done with genome data from their matriarch’s cell line.” (Callaway, 8 August 2013) 3


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