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Un-Happy Birthday

With my birthday just passing, it made me think about how much I have to be thankful for. I have a loving family who cares about me, great friends both here at college and back home from my high school. I also have great teammates and a wonderful school to go to. This birthday was great getting to spend it with all my new friends and calling my parents to talk to them for a bit. This birthday will be one I will remember from the different experiences and memories.

But this reflection got me thinking about Deborah and her mother. I love my family. They gave me everything in my life, and I can’t imagine my life without my parents. But Deborah had to go through her life without her real parents. She had to go through her entire childhood without her real mother in her life. She never got to know her mother for herself, the only way she learned about her mother was by what other people told her of her mother. I can’t relate to this experience, so I wonder how hard that must have been for her to go through life without her mother every day. Deborah never even got to celebrate a birthday with her mother. I can certainly see how this would play a very important fact in why Deborah would like to know more about her mother.

I now understand why Deborah had such a drive to learn about her mother. If she could learn more about her mother by herself, she could feel closer to her and have less of a hole from never getting to really meet her. But, could there have been more to her drive for finding out her mother? Could there have been a scientific want to understand what happened? Obviously not having her mother was one of the main reasons for Deborah’s want and drive to learn more about her, but were there other reasons? And if so, what were they?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 9, 2011 at 2:06 am

    I think one of the main reasons Deborah was really interested in learning about her mother was because of how popular and important her mother was to science. She was constantly contacted about her mother’s cells, and since everyone else knew about it, she wanted to understand what made her mother’s cells unique as well. Also, I think as an African American, Deborah was committed to elevating her status. She wanted to be literate and competent in academics so that, when compared to her white contemporaries, she could be viewed as an equal. One of the reasons that Henrietta Lacks’ family was never notified that her cells were used for experimentation was because of their race. Deborah, in learning about her mother’s cells and becoming an educated and well-rounded individual, was working to cast off racial stereotypes and achieve recognition as a person, not as something less important.

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