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Photo by Marco Midmore on Unsplash

Why do we have monuments?

What do we remember?

Whether you admire Robert E. Lee or despise him, there is very little risk he will be forgotten from our history or culture.

On the other hand, if you have heard of Henrietta Lacks, you are a rarified crowd; doubly so if you had heard of her before Rebecca Skloot published “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

Henrietta Lacks was not a doctor, nor a scientist, or in fact, aware of her contribution; still,  modern medical science owes a great deal to her. More than we do to many of the doctors and scientists whose names are well remembered.

If you don’t know the story and aren’t ready to read the book, Kendall Ross’s ABC News story about the monument is a good place to start.

I am not much of a traveler, but perhaps there might be a pilgrimage to Henrietta Lacks Plaza in Roanoke, Virginia, in my future to see her statue once it is erected.


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      Written by Russell Brand

      Entrepreneur in residence at Founder Institute, he has mentored, performed due diligence on and invested in numerous early stage companies. Hundreds of these early stage companies have described Russell’s insights and advice as the most useful thing in the history of their companies. He has always had an inborn ability to find more valuable uses of new ideas and faster ways to achieve results.

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      A broader context

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      Do you know less than nothing?