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The Deadliest Disease in America JuneJun 27 2021 08:00pm - JuneJun 30 2021 08:00pm

The Deadliest Disease in America, a documentary film produced and directed by Crystal R. Emery, (p.g.a) traces the history of racism in American healthcare, beginning with the brutal medical experimentation that slaves were forced to undergo. As this story unfolds over our nation’s history, the very same inequalities and biases continue to plague our healthcare system, creating disparities in the quality of care that Black and Brown people are afforded. Interwoven with the testimonies of experts and medical practitioners are the personal stories of patients who have been victimized by healthcare inequities, including the filmmaker’s own experiences as a quadriplegic African American woman. The COVID-19 pandemic is an exclamation point calling attention to these existing disparities, as we have witnessed communities of color experience disproportionately high rates of infection, staggering losses of life, and increased economic hardship.

This film is not just about exposing the inequities in our healthcare system; it is also about re-establishing the humanity of Black and Brown Americans who have been rendered invisible, less valuable, and unworthy of their own lives. Throughout the film, voices from two public forums—consisting of doctors, nurses, activists, policy makers, and other community members—act as a “Greek chorus” to weave the pieces together, introducing issues and offering solutions. The film also highlights three organizations throughout the country that are
making significant strides in resolving this crisis and models possibilities for
civic engagement.

The Deadliest Disease in America provides the rare opportunity to present a film that is directed and produced by a production team of color, bringing special sensitivity and honesty to the exploration of this issue that affects their lives.

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