POV: American Promise

News Release Date: 
January 22, 2014

For Immediate Release
‘POV’ Explores Changing Face of Success in America on NET Television

LINCOLN, Neb. (Jan. 15, 2014) -- A new “POV” program follows two African-American boys as they enter a prestigious private school and their families confront the opportunities and frustrations presented by the changing face of success in America. “American Promise” airs Monday, Feb. 3, at 9 p.m. CT on NET1.

“American Promise” is an intimate and provocative account, recorded over 12 years, of the experiences of two middle-class African-American boys who entered a very prestigious -- and historically white -- private school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The Dalton School had made a commitment to recruit students of color, and five-year-old best friends Idris Brewster and Oluwaseun (Seun) Summers of Brooklyn were two of the gifted children who were admitted. The boys were placed in a demanding environment that provided new opportunities and challenges, if little reflection of their cultural identities.

Idris’ parents -- Joe, a Harvard- and Stanford-trained psychiatrist, and Michèle, a Columbia Law School graduate and filmmaker -- decided to film the boys’ progress starting in 1999. They and members of the large Summers family soon found themselves struggling not only with kids’ typical growing pains and the kinds of racial issues one might expect, but also with surprising class, gender and generational gaps.

“American Promise,” which traces the boys’ journey from kindergarten through high school graduation, finds the greatest challenge for the families -- and perhaps the country -- is to close the black male educational achievement gap, which has been called “the civil rights crusade of the 21st century.”

The ins and outs of familial relationships, as parents push for success and boys struggle to find their own identities, plus the challenges and tragedies that life brings, form much of the drama of “American Promise.” At stake, beyond the challenges of being white or black in America, is the meaning of success in our country.

“American Promise” will also air on NET2 World on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. CT; Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. CT; and Saturday, Feb. 8, at 11 a.m. CT.

NET1 and NET2 World are part of NET Television.  NET Television is a service of NET.  For a complete program schedule, visit NET's website (netNebraska.org/television).

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RELEASE WRITTEN BY:  Larry L. Kubert, 402-472-9333, ext. 389, or e-mail at lkubert@netNebraska.org

NET Television:

NET1 is Nebraska's first public television broadcast service and includes PBS and award-winning, locally produced public television programming; NET2 World offers live coverage of the Nebraska Unicameral, and other news and public affairs programming; and NET3 Create is a 24-hour channel featuring the most popular how-to, travel and lifestyle series.

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