PROMISES KEPT is a groundbreaking practical guide and an urgent call-to-arms for parents, caregivers, and others concerned about the fate of black boys in America. The book is a key component of a major national campaign to close the black male “achievement gap.” The authors are also releasing a powerful documentary, AMERICAN PROMISE, which made its theatrical debut in October and will premiere nationally February 3 on PBS.
The black male achievement gap has been called “the civil rights crusade of the 21st century”—but Joe Brewster, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, and Michele Stephenson, a Columbia Law School graduate and filmmaker, never thought their son Idris would fall into it. But when he began to lag behind his peers at an elite private school in New York, they embarked on a highly motivated exploration of the gap that would stretch for the next 12 years and yield surprising discoveries. Their powerful film, American Promise, traces Idris and his friend Seun’s journey from kindergarten to graduation putting faces on the problem—this companion book offers solutions based on the practical, and often provocative, lessons they learned along the way, from their own experiences and their immersion into the world of innovative researchers focusing on black boys.