Henrietta Lacks | WYPR

Henrietta Lacks

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Two weeks ago, state officials gathered in a shopping center parking lot in Dundalk to declare August first Henrietta Lacks Day. Last night, the Baltimore City Council adopted a resolution to follow suit. The resolution honors the woman whose cancer cells, taken by Johns Hopkins doctors in 1951 without her knowledge or consent, led to advances in treatment of polio, cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Lack of patient consent, compounded by a history of mistrust of medical institutions, still reverberates in Baltimore’s gay black community.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The state of Maryland officially declared today, August 1st, as Henrietta Lacks Day and dedicated the stretch of Broening Highway from the Baltimore city and Baltimore county lines into Turner’s Station to the former resident of that community.