American Promise at the Inglewood Library
This week, the PBS SoCaL Education team hosted a night featuring the POV documentary, American Promise.
The film, which premiered nationwide on PBS earlier this year, follows friends Idris and Seun, two African-American boys from middle-class families in Brooklyn, N.Y. Their parents made the decision to send the boys to Dalton School – one of the most prestigious private schools in the United States. American Promise covers 13 years of Idris and Seun’s lives, filmed by Idris’ mom and dad, Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson.
After watching the film, the audience engaged in a conversation with two local community leaders - Dr. D’Artagnan Scorza, Executive Director of Social Justice Learning Institute and Darin Early, Director of Loyola Marymount Family of Schools. They led a discussion addressing topics brought up by the film, especially focusing on the dilemma parents face as they decide where to send their children to school. Attendees spoke about the pros and cons of deliberately sending black male students into “diverse” educational environments as opposed to schools where the majority of students and teachers “look like them.”
PBS SoCaL also had the privilege of offering the film’s companion book, Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life, by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson with Hilary Beard, and DVD copies of the film to attendees. Resources are also available for educators and parents.