9781400052172_1e7da Filming begins in Baltimore this week on the Oprah Winfrey vehicle, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, based on Rebecca Skloot’s book of the same title. The book is still on the NYT Nonfiction Paperback list after 184 weeks, following over a year on the hardcover list.

The events in the book took place in Baltimore and the film will include sites around the John Hopkins hospital, the location where Lacks’s cells were taken without her knowledge and used to create the cell line used by scientist in such medical advances as the polio vaccine.

Oprah is playing Deborah Lacks in the HBO production, Henrietta’s daughter and the character through whom the story is told in the book.

WJZ, the station where Oprah once worked as a news anchor, reports on the upcoming locations, interviewing residents, one of which says “It’s a story that needs to be told. Needs to be told, I think in the context of things that are still happening today, that still violate peoples rights, and people’s property and their own being.”

Lacks’s legacy is extending beyond the scientific uses of her cells. In Vancouver, WA a special school named in her honor is training students who want to be medical researchers, the Henrietta Lacks Health and Bioscience High School. The president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle recently visited the school and said that Lacks’s “legacy is not a cell line she left us … Her legacy is the people like you who train here … Looking ahead, I can’t imagine what you might go on to do.”

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