The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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A professor of gynecology at Morehouse and one of George Gey’s only African American students. Pattillo organizes a cancer control symposium in honor of Henrietta. He is Rebecca’s original link to the Lackses. Pattillo is very protective of the family, and he helps Rebecca contact them only after he is sure of her good intentions.
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Roland Pattillo Character Timeline in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The timeline below shows where the character Roland Pattillo appears in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: “Lady’s on the Phone”
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
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Immortality and Its Costs  Theme Icon
...at Morehouse College, a distinguished and historically black college. A professor at Morehouse named Roland Pattillo created the symposium—he is one of the few African Americans who studied with George Gey.When... (full context)
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
Technology and Globalization Theme Icon
On the phone with Pattillo, Rebecca displays her knowledge of the mistreatment of African Americans by the scientific establishment. She... (full context)
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs  Theme Icon
Pattillo informs Rebecca that he’s organizing the next HeLa conference. He mentions that Deborah Lacks lives... (full context)
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Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs  Theme Icon
After three days of phone calls, Roland Pattillo at last gives Deborah’sphone number to Rebecca. He tells her the “do’s and don’ts” for... (full context)
Chapter 28: After London
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...whole family. They even follow the Lackses to a conference in Atlanta organized by Roland Pattillo in Henrietta’s honor. (full context)
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
Technology and Globalization Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs  Theme Icon
Pattillo, Rebecca explains, grew up in a segregated town in Louisiana. After becoming the first in... (full context)
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
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Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
Technology and Globalization Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs  Theme Icon
...the hospital, she’s told that she almost had a stroke. A few weeks later, Roland Pattillo gets in touch with Deborah to tell her that a reporter—Rebecca—wants to write about Henrietta. (full context)