Actors Lamman Rucker (“Why Did I Get Married?,” “Greenleaf”) and Catherine Curtin (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Bourne Legacy”) and CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller made appearances during the weeklong theatrical world premiere of the inspirational documentary “Black Women in Medicine” in New York City. Crystal R. Emery’s film, which highlights the determined women who have succeeded against all odds in a male-dominated field, was screened at Cinema Village (22 E. 12th Street, New York, N.Y.). Directly after the Manhattan run was the Los Angeles premiere Friday, Sept. 2, at Laemmle’s Music Hall Theatre (9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif.), also a one-week run. Both theaters are Academy-qualifying cinemas, ensuring that the film meets all criteria to be considered for an Academy Award.
Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders said, “You can’t be what you can’t see,” in discussing the importance of exposing young women and minorities to role models in the medical field. Emery’s film delivers that vision. The first documentary of its kind, “Black Women in Medicine” chronicles the unsung journeys of Black female doctors who have risen above inequality to excellence to become leaders in their fields. It explores race and gender inequities that have an impact on the contemporary physician workforce, while paying tribute to pioneers in the field. The film also replaces negative imagery—the mainstream media’s false and debasing historical narrative regarding race, ethnicity, gender and character—with positive images of successful Black female doctors.
Emery, a quadriplegic with paralyzed limbs from a form of muscular dystrophy, wrote, directed and produced the film. A powerhouse and force of nature, Emery’s has written for numerous publications, including Time magazine. She is currently working on her fourth book, “Without a Trace,” a love story.
“My mission is to create work that inspires people everywhere to challenge self-imposed and other-imposed limitations so as to reach their fullest potential,” said Emery. “To that end, ‘Black Women in Medicine’ will provide a heavy helping of motivation for chasing one’s dreams, not just to young Black Americans, but to all Americans and world citizens.”
“We desperately need role models to come forward and share their stories, so that our children can consider careers in the health care professions,” says Dr. Claudia L. Thomas, the first Black female orthopedic surgeon. “We need to reach a point where a patient isn’t surprised to see a Black female doctor is their heart surgeon, or their primary care physician or the expert consulted on their orthopedic surgery. Crystal R. Emery has made those role models come forward and heralds their success, so that a 10-year-old Black girl can envision herself as a physician.”