June 29, 2009

The Boys of Baraka

This documentary film from 2005 chronicles the lives of several troubled black boys from the projects of Baltimore as they are swept to Kenya for a year of personalized education. The movie is fascinating, and also ends up being a huge PSA for charter schooling in this country. One of the many poignant moments in the film for me was when one of the children was proudly touting his strength, struggled to remember a name, and then likened his strength to that of Frederick Douglass. Growing up, I remember learning about a whopping total of three men each year during Black History month. One was Frederick Douglass. One had a dream. And the other farmed peanuts. With the election of Barack Obama, the expectations for children like these in Baltimore just skyrocketed. Praise the Lord.