During this year’s Sundance, I watched the powerful documentary film AFTERSHOCK, by Paula Eiselt & Tonya Lewis Lee. The film addresses the disturbing rate at which Black women are dying during or after childbirth – about 4 times the rate of white women in America. The film just got acquired and will be available to watch soon! (last slide)
There’s a crisis in our health care system in which pregnant folks are being driven to rush their natural birthing process and have c-sections, all because of the ability for hospitals to profit. Since the 1970’s, C-sections have gone up over 500%! This practice, combined with the racist medical system, puts Black pregnant womb carriers at tremendous risk.
While I knew about this injustice, I was deeply saddened to hear the personal stories of the family members of Shamony Gibson and Amber Rose Isaac, both young, healthy Black women who died after giving birth. To hear from Shamony’s mother, Shawnee Benton Gibson was deeply moving for me, and I felt compelled to create this piece of art inspired by her words, and donate some of the proceeds to this work.
The way we are brought into earthside shapes our lives forever. Everyone deserves care, dignity and support in their birthing process. I will be donating proceeds to the Save a Rose Foundation founded by Bruce Mcintyre, widow of Amber Rose Isaac.
Check out the film too! Disney’s Onyx Collective and ABC News have jointly acquired Aftershock, will stream as an original film from Onyx Collective on Hulu in the U.S., on Star+ in Latin America, and on Disney+ in all other territories.