Basic Black Salon Series: P.O.V. American Promise
February 25, 2014
How far would you go to fulfill the promise and potential in your child?
From kindergarten through twelfth grade, Idris Brewster, a middle-class African American, trekked from his home in Brooklyn to Manhattan’s Upper East Side to attend the prestigious Dalton School. Throughout, his filmmaker parents documented his experience of the school’s high-pressure academics and overwhelmingly white and wealthy social world. Unfolding alongside Idris’s story was that of his best friend Seun, who started at Dalton with him but later transferred to a predominantly African American public school, where he thrived. Thirteen years in the making, American Promise examines both the advantages and the obstacles that educational access can bring.
American Promise filmmaker—and Idris’s mom—Michèle Stephenson will share her experiences of being behind and in front of the camera as her son navigated the demands of Dalton and grew up as an African American boy in the predominantly white school. After a 30-minute film clip, Kim McLarin, a writer and regular panelist on WGBH’s Basic Black, will moderate the discussion and welcome questions from the audience. A dessert reception will follow.
Winner of a Special Jury Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and part of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen public media commitment to help communities identify and implement solutions to improve high school graduation rates, American Promise premiered on PBS earlier this month.