National Academies: Science of Health Equity with System Change hosts Fight for Black Lives

WASHINGTON — On July 10, Rep. Lauren Underwood will introduce the movie The Fight for Black Lives during the National Academy of Medicine’s Science of Health Equity for System Change symposium.

Directed by University of Chicago professor Dr. Micere Keels, the film explores racial health disparities, specifically examining how racial stress and the American healthcare system disadvantage the health of Black Americans.

Tracing present-day racial health disparities back to emancipation-era policies that increased the Black mortality rate, the film shows that there is nothing new about the disproportionate rate of Black mortality that was associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I embarked on the journey of creating ‘The Fight For Black Lives’ with a commitment to uncovering the deep-rooted injustices within our healthcare system and their impact on Black lives. This documentary serves as a powerful narrative of the urgent need for health justice in America,” explains Dr. Keels.

The Fight For Black Lives combines personal stories of Black women who were pregnant during the first year of the pandemic and Black Lives Matter uprisings, with archival footage and expert insights to place a spotlight on the systemic injustices baked into America’s healthcare system. It also challenges viewers to confront the historical reluctance of the government to provide adequate healthcare for formerly enslaved people, perpetuating present-day racial health disparities.

Through this film, I invite audiences to confront the systemic issues that persistently disadvantage Black Americans’ health, urging us all to be catalysts for change,” adds Dr. Keels.