Tennessee Parent Seeks to Ban The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

By Maryann Yin 

HeLa Cells (GalleyCat)A Tennessee-based parent named Jackie Sims has made it her mission to get Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks banned in her son’s school system. If she succeeds, this act of censorship would affect the 59,000 students of the Knox County Schools.

According to Skloot’s Facebook post, Sims deems the content of this nonfiction work to be “pornographic.” Skloot also reports that the administration of L&N STEM Academy, the school that Sims’ son attends, supports the book.

Here’s more from Entertainment Weekly: “Published in 2010 to favorable reviews, Immortal Life recounts how the ‘HeLa cells’ taken from Lacks became the first human cells to survive and flourish in a laboratory, paving the way for treatments and cures for diseases including polio, cancer, and AIDS. At the same time, the book raises difficult questions about bioethics and race relations.” (via The Los Angeles Times)