It is a good time to be recognized as an African-American pioneer. Thanks to President Obama, African-Americans who made unlikely achievements, when all seemed impossible, are viewed through a new historical context. Therefore, the story of Dr. Ben Carson takes on more significance, as TNT premieres a new movie about Dr. Ben Carson’s historic life story tomorrow night. Gifted Hands shows how Dr. Ben Carson rose from nothing and nowhere to become a famed neurosurgeon.
Dr. Ben Carson was born into poverty in Detroit, with very poor grades and no advantages anywhere. However, his dedicated mother would not give up on him, despite her own illiteracy and demons.
Young Ben Carson also had to overcome very serious bouts of rage, which could have made him kill a fellow student, if the knife he used did not break in half onto a belt buckle.
Instead, Ben Carson overcame every disadvantage and got himself into Yale. His rise through medical school made him the first African-American to get into Johns Hopkins’ residency program.
What followed was a career in neurosurgery in which Dr. Ben Carson became one of the foremost brain surgeons in America, despite all his past obstacles.
Dr. Carson is best known for a 1987 brain surgery in which he separated two seven-month-old Siamese twins joined at the head. The procedure took a record-setting 22 hours, and made Dr. Carson a household name in medicine. This historic achievement is also the center point of his biopic, Gifted Hands.
TNT, which often shows weepy Hallmark movies when not making shows about trouble female cops, airs Gifted Hands in about the perfect historical context. When pretty much every past and present achievement is framed in the context of Obama nowadays, stories like Dr. Carson’s take on a new relevance.
For Gifted Hands, Cuba Gooding Jr. takes a break from humiliating grade-Z comedies that all but killed his Oscar-winning career, and returns to legitimate work as the adult Dr. Carson. But Gooding doesn’t have to carry the movie, as Gifted Hands splits screen time between the adult Dr. Carson and his childhood. In the childhood segments, Kimberly Elise gets the lead role as Carson’s devoted mother.
TNT premieres Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Baltimore Sun- “Gifted Hands is a crowning achievement” www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/tv/bal-li.hands05feb05,0,755583.story
Metro Times- “Art imitates life, again” www.metrotimes.com/culture/story.asp
South Coast Today- “YOUR VIEW: This Black History Month, get to know Dr. Carson” www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article