Freedom Writers, is a 2007 film based off of a novel called “The Freedom Writers Diary.” Both the film and the novel portray a story about a racially divided Los Angeles high school named Woodrow Wilson.
This story is based on a real life journey about a first year enthusiastic teacher named Erin Gruwell. Mrs. Gruwell does not know what is in store for her in the upcoming school. Mrs. Gruwell ends up having a rude awakening when she finds out that her students are “at risk” and have no desire to expand their education by attending college.
Her student’s main priorities are about “protecting their own,” and splitting up into racial groups within her classroom. Throughout the movie, you will see multiple obstacles or conflicts that each student faces on a day-to day bases. Which include getting abused, jumped, shot at, racism; or participating in drive by shootings, gangs, and or drug related crimes.
During class one day, Gruwell interrupts a racist drawing made by one of her students. She then utilizes the drawing to teach her students about the holocaust. The interesting, yet horrifying topic enables her to slowly gain her students trust. The drawing that the student produces has a black person with big lips which correlates to the drawings that were create during the Holocaust Era of Jewish people having large noses. In addition, Gruwell uses the Holocaust victims to inform her students that racism has no color; it can pertain to religion, color of your skin, gender.
Mrs. Gruwell put her heart and soul into educating her students; she had a passion for her job, students and society. She made many sacrifices, which included her husband leaving her and eventually divorcing her. However, it did not stop her passion for her students and her teaching career.
In closing, I find it very ironic that I am writing an essay on racism and underprivileged young adults and during my research I stumbled across an article that indicated that this film was dedicated to the memory of Armand Jones, who was killed after wrapping up Freedom Writers. He was only 18 years old at the time of his death. He was shot to death in a senseless act of crime in Anaheim, California after a confrontation with a man who robbed Armand of a necklace in public at a Denny’s restaurant. This makes me stop and think about the clips that we watched during our assignment in week three over Black Stories Matter. Would Armand have lived if he was of a different race and did his parents have the talk with him?