Racism In Freedom Writers

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Racism is as relevant an issue today as it ever was. Old wounds have opened, and the dark side of America is being brought to light. Freedom Writers, a 2007 movie adaptation of the 1999 book The Freedom Writers Diary (Freedom Writers), illustrates just how large an issue racism is in society. Freedom Writers was directed by Richard LaGravenese and stars Hilary Swank, Scott Glenn, Patrick Dempsey, and Imelda Staunton (Freedom Writers). Set in Long Beach, California, a first-time teacher educates her at-first unmotivated students in English while giving them life lessons and showing them the larger world around them. Those students live in an area that is a battlefield, many of them embroiled in the ongoing gang wars. Freedom Writers deals with racism by showing the students that they are all very similar and deal with the same problems, regardless of their race. The movie opens with footage of the 1994 Los Angeles riots, then transitions to the childhood of the narrator of the film, a Mexican-American girl named Eva. It shows how racism and gang violence has shaped her life, with her father being arrested for a crime he didn’t commit and being shot at and beat up among the various examples. We then meet Erin Gruwell, an enthusiastic young teacher, whose class is comprised of Eva and other “at risk” teens. Gruwell has difficulty getting through to her students, who self-segregate into racial groups within the classroom. Many students stop attending class when she forces them
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