American Promise

“These filmmakers gave 13 years, and their childrens' school years to this film. And it pays off. American Promise has made an invaluable contribution to closing the racial achievement gap.” Russell Simmons, co-founder Def Jam

  • What did they do?

  • In 1999, filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson turned their cameras on two families – including their own – as they enrolled their sons at a prestigious prep school, in hopes that it would set them on a path to success.Thirteen years later, the result is a feature-length documentary, American Promise, which provides a rare look into the lives of two middle class black families as they wrestle with issues of race, class, gender and opportunity in education and navigate the ups and downs of parenthood.

    • Produced / Directed by Michèle Stephenson
    • Produced / Directed by Joe Brewster

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