“America to Me”: New Docuseries Highlighting Black Experience in Chicago-land School

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This 10-part series follows students and faculty as it investigates traditionally difficult to discuss topics, such as institutionalized racism.

On August 26, Starz premiered “America to Me” to its satellite and cable users. “America to Me” is a docuseries directed and produced by Steve James, Oscar nominated director and producer of many documentaries like “Hoop Dreams” and “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.” In this new docuseries, we take a look at a River Forest High School, a public school in Chicago-land suburb Oak Park. This is a 10-part series that surveys students and faculty to investigate the stimulated state of education, race, and culture. This school has a well-funded and expansive curriculum, diverse students, and is located in a progressive community, but there is a widening gap between the test scores of black and white pupils. This documentary investigates institutionalized racism, as well as other topics that have traditionally been difficult to discuss.

Two prominent teens in this series are Jada Buford and Charles Donalson III, who are excited about the project as it shows the importance of seeing their entire story, shows them being black teenagers, and explores their narratives. Buford is an aspiring filmmaking that has gained an internship with Participant Media, a producer for the series. The teens hope that this series helps people, particularly those in power, see what is happening and try to stop perpetuating crippling factors like institutionalized racism. Through this series, the students want viewers to not only acknowledge their race, but also their humanity.

Interested? Read more about the docuseries here.