ARF: The Prep School Negro
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Welcome to WORLD Channel's America ReFramed live chat of The Prep School Negro!
When André Robert Lee received a full scholarship to attend a prestigious prep school, he and his family believed it to be the golden ticket. Elite education was his way up and out, but at what cost? In The Prep School Negro, André journeys back to revisit the events of that time as well as speak with current day prep school students of color to see how much has really changed inside the ivory tower.
Joining us for the conversation is The Prep School Negro filmmaker André Robert Lee, William Penn Charter School graduates Alibra Johnson and Michael Brown, and Joan Countryman, the first African-American graduate of Germantown Friends School.
During the screening, please send us your comments and questions. Thank you for watching and participating!
The Prep School Negro
Filmmaker André Robert Lee grew up in the ghettos of Philadelphia, where his mother struggled to support him and his sister. Receiving a full scholarship at the age of 14 to attend a prestigious prep school for an elite education was André's way up and out...but at what price to him and his family?
- Sharon Wong
WORLD Channel's Editorial Coordinator and Social Media Manager
- André Robert Lee
From New York City's public schools to graduate school and the Ford Foundation, André Robert Lee took a unique career path before finding his way into the entertainment business. Over the years, he has worked on feature films like "The Best Man" as well as produced several features and documentaries, including "Rocket Science." André is currently working on a new project, and serves on the Connecticut College Alumni Board of Directors, the Advisory Board of the Topsoil Film Festival, the Jury/Selection Committee of the Rap-It-Up/Black Aids Short Subject Film Competition and the Executive Committee of Film.
- Joan Countryman
Philadelphia native Joan Countryman was the first African-American graduate of Germantown Friends School, a member of the class of 1958. A Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics, she returned to teach at her high school alma mater, and then became the director of studies and assistant head. Joan was also the Head of Lincoln (Providence, Rhode Island) and interim Head of Atlanta Girls' School (Georgia) before retiring. She has served on many boards of education, including the Founding Head of School of Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Joan currently serves as President of Friends Center City in Philadelphia.
- Alibra Johnson
Born and raised in North Philadelphia, Alibra Johnson was given the opportunity to attend William Penn Charter School when she was accepted into the non-profit Steppingstone program. Attending the private school for about seven years, she participated in sports and diversity clubs, garnering recognition. Alibra graduated in 2008 and is currently working full-time while attending community college.
- Michael Brown
Michael Brown, born in Akron, Ohio moved to Pennsylvania in 1991. He attended Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School until transferring to Penn Charter at the end of his freshman year, where he was a four-year letterman in football. Michael received a full scholarship to attend and play football for St. Francis University. He currently works at Manheim Philadelphia as their MCC Specialist.
- Judith Ohikuare
Judith Ohikuare is a native Brooklynite now residing in Washington, D.C. Currently working as an editorial fellow for The Atlantic, she has held positions as a reporter-researcher for the small-business magazine, Inc., and written articles on health and gender for a number of other publications. She attended the all-girls Chapin School in New York City for seven years and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011.
The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.