The documentary, “The Color of Medicine”, by Joyce Marie Fitzpatrick and Brian Shackelford highlights the history of the first all-black hospital in St. Louis, the Homer G. Phillips hospital. The hospital served as the dominant institution where black doctors learned medicine from 1937 to 1979 and at one point trained the largest number of black doctors and nurses in the world. The documentary recites the timeline of the institution’s rise and fall, narrated by award-winning actress, Tonya Williams. Dr. Earle Robinson Jr., MD earned his medical training at the Homer G. Phillips hospital and has been a practicing obstetrics and gynecology specialist in Indianapolis, Indiana for 56 years. In the film, Robinson Jr. shares his story of his time spent working at the hospital and chronicles his father’s time there as one of the institution’s first 27 black graduates.
The story begins in the 1930’s, when Homer G. Phillips, a Black attorney and civil rights activist, convinced the city of St. Louis to allocate 3 million dollars from a bond measure for a hospital for its Black citizens, who were being treated in segregated facilities. The film features physicians, nurses and patients as well as activists and leaders who shed light on the significant impact the Homer G. Phillips hospital had on African-American and United States history. Dr. In an interview for “The Color of Medicine” website, Dr. Earle Robinson Jr. said, “I have lived 87 years and have an eye and ear for the scenes and sounds and the humor and pathos that have intersected my life. I am a retired physician and before these events are lost with my passing, I want to make certain people have the opportunity to learn about such a monumental part in history. The best times I’ve had in my life were the years I spent at Homer G. Phillips…Everything about the “G” was Black”. The documentary has been shown in college campuses across the world, but is still not readily available to view for everyone. Many people believe the film should be available to stream for on-demand viewing as it would surely get a lot of views, share important historical information and profit the streaming network as well.
If you are interested in seeing “The Color of Medicine” on streaming networks you can visit the website below and sign the petition to make the film available on Netfilx, Hulu, YouTube TV and/or Amazon.