#BlackHistoryMonth Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks was born on August 1, 1920, in Roanoke Virginia. She was a wife and a mother of five. In 1941, Henrietta and her husband moved to Baltimore, Maryland. Lacks went to John Hopkins Hospital on January 29, 1951, because she was experiencing abnormal pain and bleeding. Dr. Howard Jones diagnosed her with cervical cancer. While receiving radiation treatment, doctors removed two cells from her cervix without her knowledge. Lacks died on October 4, 1951, at the age of 31. Her cells were sent to a laboratory and Dr. George Otto Gey noticed something different with Lack’s cells. He discovered her cells could be kept alive and could continue to grow. Dr. Gey created a cell line and named it HeLa. He isolated one specific cell and multiplied it. The HeLa cell was used by Jonas Stalk to develop a vaccine for polio. In 1955, scientists cloned the cells and the demand for them grew. Over ten thousand patents involving the HeLa cell have been registered since then. Researchers have used the cells to study diseases and illnesses, such as cancer and AIDS. They have also used the cells to test human sensitivity to new products, such as tape, glue, and cosmetics. The Lack family did not find out about Henrietta cells being removed and used for experiments until the 1970’s. In 1973, they received a call from a scientist who was looking for family members to get blood samples and to find out genetic questions, such as hair and eye color. The HeLa cell launched a multimillion-dollar industry and her family has never received a profit or the recognition Henrietta deserves.


Today In Black History: March 17, 1997 “The Death of R&B Singer Jermaine Stewart”

Jermaine Stewart

On today in 1997, R&B singer Jermaine Stewart passed away. Stewart gained his first notoriety from his dancing skills on Soul Train.  Stewart went on to join the R&B singing group Shalamar, later he ventured out on solo endeavors. Stewart most recognizable song is “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off”. Jermaine Stewart died on March 17, 1997, from liver cancer associated with AIDS.


gacdst.org World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day! It is vital that we must come together and educate one another on the misconceptions and prevention methods of AIDS. To find testing centers in your community please visit Aids.gov! The theme for this years World Aids Day is, “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation.” So, let us come together to uplift and educate each other! For more information about World Aids Day, please visit here!