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Arts & Culture

Power To Heal: Medicare And The Civil Rights Revolution

"Power To Heal: Medicare And The Civil Rights Revolution" is an hour-long documentary chronicling the historic struggle to secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans. Central to the story is the tale of how a new national program, Medicare, was used to mount a dramatic, coordinated effort that racially desegregated thousands of hospitals across the country, all in a matter of months in 1966.
Courtesy of the Estate of John Vachon
"Power To Heal: Medicare And The Civil Rights Revolution" is an hour-long documentary chronicling the historic struggle to secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans. Central to the story is the tale of how a new national program, Medicare, was used to mount a dramatic, coordinated effort that racially desegregated thousands of hospitals across the country, all in a matter of months in 1966.

Airs Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 at 10 p.m. on KPBS 2

"Power To Heal: Medicare And The Civil Rights Revolution" is an hour-long documentary chronicling the historic struggle to secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans.

Central to the story is the tale of how a new national program, Medicare, was used to mount a dramatic, coordinated effort that racially desegregated thousands of hospitals across the country, all in a matter of months in 1966.

Using the carrot of Medicare dollars, the federal government virtually ended the practice of segregating patients, doctors, medical staffs, blood supplies and linens.

As one of the least known chapters of the civil rights movement, "Power To Heal" examines how its leaders and grass-roots volunteers pressed and worked with the federal government to achieve justice and fairness for African Americans.

Danny Glover narrates the film.

Credits:

Producer and Project Creator: Dr. Barbara Berney. Director: Charles Burnett. Producer: Roberta Friedman. Producer/Director/Editor: Daniel Loewenthal. Writers: Anna Reid Jhirad and Leslie Clark. Executive Producers: Tammy Robinson and Martin Dornbaum. Presented by WETA. Distributed by American Public Television.