[youtube id=”Yf8DD5DwJag”] Black Women In Medicine is a documentary directed and written by Crystal R. Emery about Black women who succeeded against the odds to become doctors in a male-dominated field. The film presents rare footage of the doctors at work from Rebecca Lee, the first Black woman to receive a degree in medicine in 1864 to Jocelyn Elders who became the first Black U.S. Surgeon General. Dr. Jennifer Ellis, who is one of six Black female cardiothoracic surgeons in America, is also in the film.
Black Women In Medicine is part of Emery’s initiative to increase the number of Black doctors in the United States from 4.5 percent in 2016 to 7 percent in 2030. Emery launched a national campaign, Changing The Face Of Medicine with Elders to achieve that goal.
“We all must challenge the status quo by replacing the false and debasing historical narrative regarding race, ethnicity and gender with positive, empowering images of real women making a difference,” says Emery. “My goal with Black Women in Medicine is to illuminate the issues and inspire a new generation of women of color to become doctors, as well as to help build a legacy for increasing access to healthcare in minority communities across the United States.”
Emery, a quadriplegic, has triumphed over two chronic diseases to become an outspoken voice on the intersection between race, gender and disability. She is the founder and CEO of URU, The Right to Be, Inc., a nonprofit content production company that tackles social issues via film, theater, publishing and other arts-based initiatives. Emery’s work has been recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus with the Health Brain Trust Award in Journalism. She is the author of Against All Odds: Celebrating Black Women in Medicine, an illustrated coffee-table book profiling more than 100 spectacular physicians that is a companion piece to the film.
Black Women In Medicine will air tomorrow evening on the WORLD Channel at 8PM EST.