Listen To The Story

Michele Stephenson* and her husband Joe Brewster spent the past 14 years making a documentary film. They didn't have to go far to do it.  They followed their son Idris and his friend Seun around for 14 years.  They chronicled the two boys’ time through the education system.

Idris and Seun both attended The Dalton School, an expensive, private, and predominantly-white school in New York City.  The film takes a look at the challenges both students had to face as minorities in an all white environment. 

The film touches on the achievement gap and why it is so hard for African American boys to do well in predominantly white schools.  Joe Brewster says that the film is just as much class as it is about race.

"We don’t see how you separate the two," said Brewser.

Stephenson filming the documentary opened her eyes to a whole other side of the achievement gap.  

"There were assumptions about what his background was because of his race," said Stephenson. "Where we thought we were avoiding the education gap for boys, we found ourselves in the midst of it."

CORRECTION: The original version of this article misspelled Michele Stephenson's name. The text has been corrected.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal