March 21/Stop Racism Committee
Q and A with panel of experts to follow the screening.
The story of Vivien Thomas, a black carpenter turned lab assistant whose work with white surgeon Alred Blalock revolutionized the field of heart surgery and defied segretation-era laws.
Starring Mos Def as Vivien Thomas, the true story of a Black carpenter turned lab technician and medical pioneer. His parntership with White doctor Alfred Blalock defied segregation-era laws and transformed the field of heart surgery, developing an operation to save "Blue Babies." Under the prevailing attitudes of the time, Blalock is honored for their accomplishments, while Thomas goes unrecognized.
Mr. Thomas was hired by Dr. Blalock as a janitor, but his amazing surgical skill and ingenuity was the genius behind the advances made by Blalock. It is a great exploration of how racism has hidden the contributions of so many racialized people. Mr. Thomas went on to train surgeons at John Hopkins hospital until his death. He is now honoured for his work. The film was nominated for 9 Emmys.
"Vivien Thomas never went to college, but he had a genius, a stunning dexterity. He might have become a great surgeon. Instead he became a legend." - Katie McCabe