by Maggie Maloney,
The documentary on racial disparities in national healthcare will premiere on May 1
The Smithsonian Channel announced on Thursday that it is partnering with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions to release an original documentary, The Color of Care. The film will focus on Black America’s racial inequality when it comes to healthcare.
The Color of Care, which Winfrey appears in as well, chronicles how Black Americans have been subjected to systematically substandard healthcare. It will show how these inequities were exposed after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the nation.
“At the height of the pandemic, I read something that stopped me in my tracks,” Winfrey, who is also executive producing the film, said in a press release. “I read a story about Gary Fowler, a Black man that died in his home because no hospital would treat him despite his COVID-19 symptoms. As we continued to hear how the racial disparities in our country were exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic, I felt something needed to be done.”
“This film is my way of doing something, with the intention that the stories we share serve as both a warning and foster a deeper understanding of what changes need to take place to better serve us all.”
The documentary, directed by Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated director Yance Ford, will trace these racial health disparities back to slavery and link it to the present day. Interviewees will include citizens whose family members died from COVID-19, as well as frontline medical workers.
“People of color have long endured the fatal consequences of racial health disparities and the COVID-19 pandemic made these inequalities plain for all to see,” said James Blue, head of the Smithsonian Channel. “I hope our documentary event, The Color of Care, will be a catalyst for action. I am delighted to partner with Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Productions on this vital project.”
In addition, it will serve as the launch of a robust impact campaign to help engage historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), as well as inspire medical institutions, nursing schools, and policymakers to reach solutions toward health equity among Black communities.