African-Americans die from heart disease at rates which are disproportionately higher than those of white Americans. Yet, while it is hard to find an African-American family whose lives have not been touched by heart disease, the American Heart Association reports that many in this community are painfully unaware of the scope of the problem.
The Angry Heart spotlights this modern epidemic through the story of 45-year-old Keith Hartgrove, who has already experienced two heart attacks and quadruple bypass surgery. Together with the experts who are interviewed in this important new documentary, he analyzes the impact of a wide variety of factors including depression, stress, diet, smoking and other lifestyle issues, but makes clear that, for African-Americans, such factors are inseparable from racism, and from the discrimination, poverty, segregation, substandard education, and day-to-day tensions which racism engenders.
Equally important to Hartgrove's story, however, are the powerful family, church and community ties which have supported him through his recovery.