Black Women in Medicine

Filmmaker: Crystal R. Emery
Runtime: 66 minutes
Film Representative: Anita Ford Saunders, Associate Producer

Black Women in Medicine is the first documentary to explore the history, contemporary issues and future possibilities of African-American women physicians by featuring the diverse voices of young medical students, practicing physicians and elder trailblazers. They all share intimate stories of what it means to be a Black woman doctor in America. Currently, 4.5% of physicians in the U.S. are Black, and less than 2% are black women. The women featured in the film have saved countless lives despite being plagued by a professional and societal uphill battle stemming from both their gender and skin color. The film includes rarely seen documentation of Black women performing critical operations, as well as in-depth original interviews with Dr. Joycelyn Elders, the first black Surgeon General of the U.S., and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. In telling the stories of women who have persevered in medical fields in part by overcoming barriers linked to race and gender, Black Women in Medicine provides audiences with a vivid and stunning experience of the triumph of the human spirit. 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.

About the Filmmaker

Crystal Renée Emery’s professional background spans more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry as a producer, writer, director, filmmaker and activist. She has worked in a variety of capacities with both stage and screen productions throughout the United States and Europe. Ms. Emery earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Connecticut, and was handpicked to be included in a small group of young directors who were given the opportunity to work directly with theater director icon Lloyd Richards (“Piano Lesson”). She also polished her craft under the tutelage of film industry giant Bill Duke (“A Rage in Harlem”). She recently received her Master of Arts in Media Studies from the New School for Public Engagement.

About the Film Representative

Anita Ford Saunders, APR, is a seasoned writer and producer whose career in media spans 40 years. Anita served as Vice President of Corporate Communications for Connecticut Public Television & Radio, where she was responsible for the management of an award-winning staff. She produced strategic messaging and promotion production for the premier of UConn Women’s Basketball on CPTV, which won a Connecticut Innovation Award in its second year. Throughout her career, she has worked in television and film production in varied locations, including Washington DC, Michigan, and Massachusetts.  Anita has been an adjunct professor and continues to consult with clients on presentation and video production – in front of and behind the camera. She is currently Associate Producer on Black Women in Medicine and a facilitator for “No Money Films” a three-day workshop for independent filmmakers. Anita has been nominated for seven Emmy Awards and won three. She also received a first place award for excellence in journalism from the Society for Professional Journalists. Anita holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Communication from American University and a Master of Science degree from Central Connecticut State University.