The Appreciating Diversity Film Series presents The Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution, a documentary film by Charles Burnett released in 2018.
The hour-long documentary moves briskly from the history of segregated hospitals and a brief summary of civil rights activism to the internal workings of the federal government that led to integrated hospitals and African American access to health care. It narrates the early days of health inequity, powerfully demonstrating how race and poverty denied African Americans equal access to healthcare. Moving interviews reveal personal experiences of African Americans’ struggles with illness and death without adequate healthcare. The film transitions from these individual stories to a broader review of disparities in hospital care throughout the United States. Physicians, civil rights leaders, and historians recount the dangerous tasks of documenting egregious incidents, tracking down patients, and the risks of blacks and whites working together to put desegregated structures in place.
Register for a May 5 Zoom discussion HERE with Dr. Neil Powe, Chief of Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital, and you will receive a link to stream the documentary between May 2 – 5. Powe, who is also a professor of medicine and vice chair of the Department of Medicine at UCSF is an acclaimed leader in public health and the ongoing effort to correct healthcare disparities.