By Julious M.

Europeans in the 1900’s colonized Africa because they felt the need to expand, Europe was a place known for competition The Countries within Europe competed for Africa’s land and resources. They were fighting over something that wasn’t theirs in the first place. In (Doc F) Lobengula Khumalo, chief of South African Ndebele asked “Did you ever see a chameleon catch a fly? The chameleon gets behind the fly and remains motionless for some time, then he advances very slowly and gently, at first, putting forward one leg and then another. At last when well within reach, he darts out his tongue and the fly disappears. England is the chameleon and I am that fly” This relates to Henrietta Lacks and how the doctors slowly but surely made sure they got their fly, which in this case is Henrietta’s cells. When a person wants something, they’ll do anything to get it and when people or countries colonize and take over, it is because of the desire of what the invader wants.

Henrietta Lacks was an African-American tobacco farmer. Henrietta moved to Baltimore and ad of tissue research later got ill. Henrietta was an independent woman and didn’t really depend on doctors because she usually used old home remedies. One day in day, Henrietta Lacks went to Johns Hopkins Hospital to finally see what was wrong with her because she complained about a knot in her groin area. The doctors at first just brushed it off, gave her pain killers and said it was because she had bad blood. On September 19, 1950, was when the doctors finally

realized it was abnormal because the tumor was growing at an alarming rate. “The most famous vulture” or George Gey according to (p.30) of the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, was the name for the head of tissue research at Johns Hopkins. George Gey and his wife Margaret spent three-decade trying and were determined to grow cells outside of the body, but most of the cells died off. When TeLinde offered Gey for a sample of the HeLa cells, he didn’t think twice about it.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and The European Imperialism were alike because in both scenarios the person or the country that got invaded was had an African decent. Also in both scenarios, there were things taken without the knowledge of that person of in Africa’s case the people. That’s why when A country invades or a person gets stolen from it’s because of what they had.


2 thoughts on “The Immortal Life of the Imperial Mindset

  1. “When a person wants something, they will do anything to get it” , do you think this only existed back then or is it still existing today in society?

    From Henrietta being independent and not depending on doctors, Why do you think she was this way? Was it because of her race or because of the way blacks were treated back then?


  2. What stood out to me was how you used the metaphor of the chameleon as an example of how Henrietta’s cells were the ‘fly’. I think that was a good comparison of imperialism.


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