Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Communication Studies

First Advisor

Bernadette Marie Calafell

Second Advisor

Santhosh Chandrashekar

Third Advisor

Christina R. Foust

Fourth Advisor

Mary Clair M. Loftus

Fifth Advisor

Sheila E. Schroeder


African Americans, BiDil, Film, Medicine, Qualitative, Race


Of the 32 pharmaceuticals approved by the FDA in 2005, one medicine stood out. That medicine, BiDil®, was a heart failure medication that set a precedent for being the first approved race based drug for African Americans. Though BiDil®, was the first race specific medicine, racialized bodies have been used all throughout history to advance medical knowledge. The framework for race, history, and racialized drugs was so multi-tiered; it could not be conceptualized from a single perspective. For this reason, this study examines racialized medicine through performance, history, and discourse analysis.

The focus of this work aimed to inform and build on a new foundation for social inquiry—using a history film performance to elevate knowledge about race based medicines. Equally important, this work adds significantly to the scholarship on filmmaking and argues that film performance can be utilized as both a theoretical and methodological tool.

Written, produced, and directed for this study, The Colored Pill history film performance centers on concepts of monstrosity, Othering, and race specific drugs. In addition, the concept of discourse analysis was significant in analyzing the words, phrases, and sentences of eight African American focus groups that screened the 70-minute film performance. Utilizing audio recorded transcripts to analyze the production of knowledge about drugs with race specific indications; data was collected from focus group interviews and questionnaires. Deductive coding, based on William James McGuire’s (1985) model for sequential, information-processing, was used to analyze the data. As a result, pre-established themes of exposure, attention, comprehension, and acceptance aka yielding were utilized, because they best pointed to the advancement of knowledge.

The findings underscore the potential of film performance to help overcome knowledge gaps. Focus group participants indicate history film performance, The Colored Pill, had a significant effect on the advancement of knowledge on racialized medicines.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Wanda Lakota


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

475 p.


Communication, Film studies, Medicine