Crystal Emery: A Storyteller for Our Time
By Sheree Crute
There’s a quiet revolution going on in the world of medicine. Black women physicians are emerging in increasingly greater numbers to transform the field to one that is far more diverse and responsive to the needs of patients from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Crystal Emery, author, filmmaker, actor and playwright tells their story in her groundbreaking documentary Black Women in Medicine and the book Against All Odds: Celebrating Black Women in Medicine.
The projects are the most recent accomplishments in Emery’s extraordinary career. An artist who counts legendary actor and director Bill Duke, the renowned actor and dancer Gregory Hines and Tony Award-winning actor and director Lloyd Richards among her greatest influences, Emery creates work that not only sheds light on African American achievement, she chronicles our grace under fire during those journeys.
Her other mission is to advance social change. Emery’s body of work spans 30 years and includes the documentary, The Deadliest Disease in America, an examination of racism in medical practice, which earned her the Congressional Black Caucus’ “Health Brain Trust Award in Journalism.”
Emery’s other notable works highlight the critical importance of equity in the fight for health and wellbeing. Combining educational initiatives and the arts, she created “This Is Where I Live, Don’t Dump On Me,” a play and a series of workshops about environmental responsibility and “Woman to Woman: Helping Ourselves,” a highly successful national series of conferences about breast health education, targeting women in urban communities.
In a life that underscores triumph over challenges, Emery continues to create while facing two chronic diseases herself, as a quadriplegic. Yet, when you meet her, the thing you notice most is her broad and engaging smile.
Sheree Crute is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Fierce