*Hulu has dropped the trailer for an eye-opening documentary titled “Aftershock” about the Black maternal mortality crisis.
Per the CDC’s website: “Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women. Multiple factors contribute to these disparities, such as variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias. Social determinants of health prevent many people from racial and ethnic minority groups from having fair opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health.”
Many health experts agree that the Black maternal mortality crisis and the upcoming Hulu documentary will shed light on the matter. The project followed families that have been impacted by childbirth-related complications. Two late mothers serve as the inspiration for the “Aftershock” documentary.
Per press release, the film’s synopsis states: In October 2019, 30-year-old Shamony Gibson tragically died after being ignored by medical providers 13 days following the birth of her son. Two months later, we began filming Shamony’s surviving mother, Shawnee Benton Gibson, and bereaved partner, Omari Maynard, as they began to process what happened and figure out their new normal.
In April 2020, 26-year-old Amber Rose Isaac, died due to an emergency c-section that the family says stemmed from medical negligence. Within weeks of Amber’s death, Omari reaches out to Amber’s surviving partner Bruce McIntyre and a lifelong bond is formed. Together, Omari and Bruce begin the fight for justice to their partners with their families and community by their side, while caring for their children as newly single parents.
Through the film, we witness these two families become ardent activists in the maternal health space, seeking justice through legislation, medical accountability, community, and the power of art. Their work introduces us to a myriad of people including a growing brotherhood of surviving Black fathers, along with the work of midwives and physicians on the ground fighting for institutional reform. Through their collective journeys, we find ourselves on the front lines of the growing birth justice movement that is demanding systemic change within our medical system and government.
Directed and Produced by: Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee, “Aftershock,” an Original Hulu Documentary from Onyx Collective and ABC News, premieres July 19th on Hulu.
“My inspiration for making Aftershock came from the numerous stories I heard firsthand from women across the United States about too many Black women needlessly dying from childbirth complications that could have been prevented,” Lee shared with ELLE. “My hope is that viewers will come away from the film empowered to discover and explore the best birthing options available to them, and inspired to do what they can to ensure all women have dignified safe births in the United States.”
Eiselt told the publication, “My inspiration came from my own pregnancy and birth trauma, and then learning what I experienced on an individual level affects Black women at much higher rates and with greater stakes,” she revealed. “Black women are three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. The U.S. is the single most dangerous place in the industrialized world to give birth. This story urgently needed to be told. I hope audiences will feel empowered by their human and legal right to choose where they birth and who has the privilege of assisting them.”
Watch the “Aftershock” trailer below.