Dr. Alondra Nelson (Participation/EXTRA CREDIT)

Alondra Nelson spoke on Monday; what did you learn?  How did her talk connect to our discussion of health care?  Why is this history so important?


12 thoughts on “Dr. Alondra Nelson (Participation/EXTRA CREDIT)

  1. I learned about the connection of Henrietta Lacks to that of the Black Panthers. Henrietta died of cervical cancer but before that was treated at John Hopkins Hospital, the only hospital in proximity to her that would treat black patients. Which is where the Black Panther Party (BPP) came into the picture because they provided free health care and medical facilities to those of color. In the past black people were not given the best of care available. Often they were treated like animals, experimented on and made to wait long hours in the waiting rooms. Henrietta was an example of a patient experimented on, her cervix both the healthy and cancerous were taken without her permission which led to the HeLa line. Apart from that discovery in 1972 in their ten point platform, BPP attributed their pains to oppression and demanded for completely free healthcare for all black and oppressed people. They wanted to avoid cases such as Henrietta’s where proficient health care was not provided and being treated like a lab animal. This directly correlates with what we are discussing in class (health care) because it talks about the influence of race and social class on health care. Often times patients receive different care based on their race or ethnicity in ways that do not appear medically justified.

  2. I learned a lot during Alondra Nelson’s speech on Monday. I had no idea before I went to her presentation who Henrietta Lacks was and why she was so important to history, but afterwards I understood so much better about who she was and what she did to benefit the future. Henrietta Lacks had a malignant tumor in her cervix to which her doctor had never seen before and without her permission took out part of the tumor and part of her healthy cervix to run more tests. Henrietta died because of the cancer and didn’t even know that her body was being used for research. Alondra Nelson discussed how Henrietta Lack’s life contributed to the change in health care for all African Americans and other people of color. I knew all about the hardships that people of color had in the past, but I never really knew all the difficulties that they had with health care and how poorly they were treated during simple routine surgeries and exams. I really appreciated hearing Alondra talk about Henrietta Lacks and her own research and book.

  3. I really enjoyed listening to Alondra Nelson’s speech on Monday because I learned about a number of things that I did not know before. I did not know who Henerietta Lacks was and I learned about specific things that the Black Panther Party did. I had heard about the Black Panther Party before this speech, but I did not realize how influential they were to minorities and poor people. They spoke out for rights that black people and taught black pride.
    Henerietta Lacks unknowingly had a tumor in her cervix, which her doctor removed along with parts of her healthy cervix. She ended up dying from the cancer and her body was used for tests and research. The cells that were taken from her body become the first immortal human cells and were used to test for all different types of illnesses. Even though other immortal cells have been discovered since, her cells are still used to this day. Her cells were also used to discover that humans have 46 chromosomes.
    This connects to our discussion of health care because Henerietta Lacks did not get the proper treatment for her cancer. The doctors basically just took out her cells for research, instead of actually getting her the help that she needed. Back when this happened things like this were not uncommon and black people were often used for medical experiments. Something this extreme obviously would not happen today but some doctors still do discriminate people of color just like they did back then.
    This history is very important because without Henerietta Lack’s cells we would not have known about chromosome abnormalities as early as we did, some vaccines might not have been made early on, and people would not have had the opportunities to use her immortal cells in the ways that they did. She was a truly inspirational person and I really enjoyed hearing about what she did for the medical field.

  4. I really enjoyed listening to Alondra Nelson speak. I had never heard about Henrietta Lacks before, and had also never heard of the Black Panther Party. It shocked me to learn, that racist doctors took advantage of people of color, for example, sterilizing them without even telling them. I never would have thought that they used African Americans as their test subjects. What I learned about Henrietta Lacks was that she had a tumor, and they took a healthy part of her cervix and the tumor without her permission.
    Alondra’s speech relates back to our discussion about health care, because it is an example of people not getting the medical attention they deserve based on their race. Lacks was only allowed to go to one hospital, because it was the only hospital that served colored people within her proximity.
    This history is important, because it is showing that changes that we have accomplished and the things that still need to change. We still have discrimination by doctor’s and that needs to change. But women are allowed to know their medical diagnosis, it isn’t just up to the doctor and husband to decide what to do anymore.

  5. I enjoyed Alondra Nelson’s speech very much on Monday because i discovered many things that i had not previously known before her talk. I knew who Henrietta Lacks was but i had never really understood why doctors had chosen her of all people to take a sample of her cells and make them some of the most important in history. I learned that doctors did not think she was entitled to know her cells were being experimented with because she was black, female, and in a low social class. I learned that doctors in this time period rarely gave blacks the healthcare they needed and were very disrespectful towards black patients. i think it is concerning that there is still medical discrimination for black patients today but it is still a huge advancement from where we were during the Jim Crow law Era of medical help.

  6. Before attending Alondra Nelson’s presentation on Monday I knew nothing about the Black Panther Party. After listening to Alondra Nelson’s speech I learned so much about the Black Panther Party and the connection between them and Henrietta Lacks. I never knew that the Black Panther Party was behind the opening of clinics and that the people behind the black leather were actual doctors that wore the white coat. I can’t say I learned stuff I didn’t already know about Henrietta Lacks because I had already read her book. But I did enjoy her going over who Henrietta Lacks was because it reminded me of some of the details in the book that I had forgotten. Overall Alondra’s speech was very interesting and informative. I enjoyed seeing the different images Alondra Nelsonused in her presentation because it made her points clear. I learned stuff that I had never heard about or knew about.

  7. I learned just how important the concept of health and wellness around race. I never really thought about how much everything ties into health care and quality of life is so disproportionate among the different populations. It definitely ties into our discussion on health care because Alondra Nelson gives us so many examples in history of how the less fortunate, namely blacks, were the available bodies to do experiments and research on unethically. I learned what kinds of things the Black Panthers did other than walk around with guns in black berets and how healthcare historically has been “paternal” meaning that patients may have not had the ability to know their own medical conditions. It just shows the general mindset that people who don’t “have the capacity” or “emotional stability” to deal with their medical conditions, they were left out of the loop. African – Americans were a perfect example through instances such as Henrietta Lax, the Tuskegee Syphilis experiments, and the involuntary fertilization of women. The history Dr. Nelson highlighted is just another dark truth to what racism looks like in its ugliest form. History helps us to analyze why so much of the reasons why African-Americans and low income people are so sick. Everything from geography, jobs, living environment, food choices and prices, income, stress level, and many other factors effect the health of people and low income with high proportions of African-Americans can’t afford the means to stay healthy.

  8. Alondra Nelson spoke on Monday; what did you learn? How did her talk connect to our discussion of health care? Why is this history so important?

    After listening to Dr. Alondra Nelson speak Monday I learned about the inequality in healthcare that was prevalent during the 1900’s and that still continues to be an issue today. Henrietta Lacks body was subjugated to medical research unbeknownst to her family or husband. Cells extracted from Henrietta’s malignant tumor became immortalized because the cells were regrown and distributed to research labs across the country. Jim crow segregation was not only permissible in schools and restaurants but also hospitals and medical clinics. Blacks and other minorities often received inadequate healthcare compared to their white compatriots. The Black Panther Party fought against this inequalities by opening free healthcare clinics for blacks and other oppressed peoples in impoverished areas especially big cities such as New York and San Fransisco. Continuing to fight for civil rights and healthcare equality the Black Panther Party added free healthcare for blacks and other oppressed peoples to their ten point party platform. This history remains important as inequality and oppression still remain issues in society so we must study how acts of oppression during the twentieth century continue to affect healthcare equality in the twenty first century.

  9. I learned a lot about healthcare inequality through Dr. Alondra Nelson’s presentation the other week. She gave many examples that showed the level of healthcare inequality and also confirmed what we have talked about in our discussion of health care. The first major example she used was the Mississippi Appendectomy. That was a very shocking event where black female participants came out sterile at the end of procedures involuntarily. She also talked about the Jim Crow Segregation in Hospitals which confirms the level of health inequality throughout the 1900s. I also learned a lot about the Black Panther Party. I didn’t realize they went around creating their own health care clinics in order to treat oppressed peoples. Their 10-point platform fought inequality by demanding free healthcare for black and other oppressed peoples. Henrietta Lacks was a great example to express the amount of healthcare inequality. Her family received no compensation for the research done on her genes. Even though the genes were used to discover huge findings, there was no compensation. Dr. Alondra Nelson confirmed many of the things we talked about in our discussions. She helped to express how bad healthcare inequality was in the 1900s. History is looked at to explain current inequalities in health care. Inequalities in the 1900s can be looked at to see how curent inequalities occur in todays world.

  10. Dr. Alondra Nelson made a compelling speech about the past of the Black Panther Party (BPP). Previously I had no sure previous knowledge of what the Black Panther Party was, except for the small excerpt from the movie Forest Gump, which depicted them as a strong and serious group of African Americans who prided themselves on their race and rights. Nelson spoke of a specific case based on a woman named Henrietta Lacks, who died of cervical cancer. Henrietta, being a black female came into John Hopkins hospital with a malignant tumor on her cervix. The doctor treating her at this point had never dealt with a case like this, so he decided to remove the tumor, along with some healthy tissues of her cervix to run tests to try to find a cure. Eventually Henrietta’s body gave out and she died, because she could no longer pay for her hospital bills. The Black Panther Party was outraged at this incident for they provided free health care for African Americans, and felt that they could have saved Henrietta. This example of facial bias is eye opening to current times for it displays segregation and ignorance towards blacks, which today would not occur. Nelson’s story was sad, but it also displayed to what we came overcome today to set the social view upon different races to be equal. Her talk about healthcare connected
    the percentages of white people who are fortunate to have healthcare to go to the hospital when they are sick, compared to the percentage of blacks that cannot afford to go to the hospital and therefore suffer. The history of this story is important for the people of today, and tomorrow, for it should depict the social view on equality for all. Every person deserves to be treated if they are sick, no matter their social rank, status or race is. Just because some people are less fortunate than others doesn’t mean they need to be treated any differently.

  11. I really enjoyed Alonda Nelson’s presentation. She made me aware of the racial discrimination and disparities with the American health system through the story of Henrietta Lacks. I had heard of Henrietta but did not know much about the significant importance of her cells until this presentation. Her cells became one of the most vital tools of modern medicine and continue to spawn a multi-billion dollar industry today. The most astounding part is that she gave no consent to the doctor at John Hopkins to take her cells but he did so because black women (and men) were considered inferior and unequally treated in the health place. Henrietta’s family continued to live in poverty after the discovery of her special cells because they knew nothing about the sample that was taken either. I couldn’t believe such criminal behaviors were acceptable. This crime highlights the racism and complete dismissal of basic human rights that partook in the hospitals.

    This all directly connects to our discussion of healthcare and the racial disparities. As we learned in class, the nation’s early hospitals discriminated against and sometimes medically abused black patients in which Henrietta is a clear example of this. The Black Panther party worked to defeat these inequalities by opening free health clinics for blacks and people of minority in poverty-stricken areas in the 1900’s but as seen today, they still happen. This history of oppression and discrimination is important to explain the inequality in health care today. Much of the inequalities seen today between whites and minorities have to do with the history of racism. Race, as it did in the past, still affects income, jobs, health, and social class and is thus very much a part of American culture today. Why we have come a long way with civil rights, there is still much left to overcome all of the racial disparities.

  12. I thought that Alondra Nelson’s speech was very interesting and I learned a lot throughout her presentation. One of her main points was the connection between Henrietta Lacks and her association with the Black Panthers. Henrietta passed away from cervical cancer in 1951 when she was only 31 years old. However before her death, the John Hopkins Hospital treated her. It was the only hospital welcome to black people that she was able to get to. She was treated by a doctor who discovered her unique cells and became more interested in research than Henrietta’s health. Her cells were able to divide and stay alive unlike any other cells. Without her consent, her cells were taken and used forming a breakthrough in science that took the focus off of her health and on to research. It was here that the main purpose of the BPP was to sanction African Americans when the majority of the minority didn’t have medical help. They provided free health care and medical facilities to those in poor cities or people of color. This was a way to insure that patience weren’t treated like science experiments as we saw with Henrietta. This related to class when we talked about health care and the providers being influenced over race. We talked about how there are different types of health care that people of color receive verse the quality health care that many whites are able to have. Overall, it was an informative presentation that taught me a lot of history I was unaware of.

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