Sep 23


American Promise – A Movie Screening at Roeper

The Roeper School is hosting a screening of the film, American Promise, at 6:00pm on Wednesday, October 2 at the Roeper Middle/Upper School campus.   This is a wonderful opportunity for Roeper and we hope you will attend as well as invite others.  This screening is free and open to the public.  Following the film will be a time for questions and answers with the producers via Skype.  Child care will be available in the Birmingham campus gymnasium for children ages 3 and older.

In the U.S. today, African-American students across all income levels score an average of twenty-five points lower than their white counterparts on standardized tests. This is known as the racial achievement gap. The group that suffers most from this debilitating phenomenon is African-American males. Unfortunately, the racial achievement gap is just the beginning of lifelong inequality.

American Promise spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys’ divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation at Manhattan’s Dalton School, this provocative, intimate documentary presents complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity. An Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and winner of the Grand Jury Award at the 2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. A co-production of Rada Film Group, ITVS and POV’s Diverse Voices Project. Part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, made possible by CPB.

About AMERICAN PROMISE: American Promise premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, won the Grand Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking, and is currently playing at film festivals around the world. The film will broadcast on PBS in 2014 in conjunction with the release of Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster’s book by Random House.  To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, please visit

“An outstanding, honest portrayal of the complexities involved in steering black boys to success where cultural barriers and environmental obstacles still remain.” —Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

“All American families want to give their children the opportunity to succeed. But the truth is, opportunity is just the first step, particularly for families raising black boys. We hope American Promise shines a light on these issues.” – Michèle Stephenson; Co-Producer, Co-Director

“Our goal is to empower boys, their parents, and educators to pursue educational opportunities, especially to help close the black male achievement gap.” – Joe Brewster; Co-Producer, Co-Director 

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