Groundbreaking Documentary Follows Two African American Boys over 12 Years at Home and School Explores Race, Class and Opportunity. The Sundance Film Festival announced its selection of American Promise. The provocative documentary spans 12-years as two middle class African American parents turn their cameras on their son and his best friend, as they make their way through one of the most prestigious private schools in the nation. As the boys grow, audiences also come to see complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity.
“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,” said the film’s Co-Producer Michèle Stephenson. “American Promise shines a light on these issues so we can begin to address them. We are proud to be working with the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Mentoring Brothers in Action program to offer a proven and immediate way for all Americans to do their part to unlock the potential of all our youth.”
The filmmakers will also launch a national campaign at Sundance to help raise $100,000 and 100,000 volunteer hours for Big Brothers Big Sisters' Mentoring Brothers in Action program. The program’s goal is to recruit mentors, particularly men of color, and expand the organization’s capacity to serve more African American boys, who represent the largest group of “Littles” and children waiting for “Bigs.” Longstanding research finds that compared to their peers, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentees are more likely to improve in school and see a positive change in their behavior and self-esteem.