Hundreds of people gathered at Oak Park and River Forest High School Sunday evening to watch the first episode of the new documentary TV series America to Me, as it premiered to the nation.
Filmmaker Steve James — who made the movie Hoop Dreams — spent an entire school year inside Oak Park and River Forest High School, known as one of the area’s most successful, diverse, and progressive schools. The documentary examines issues of race and equity and questions whether black students at the school — who make up a quarter of the student body — are getting an equal education or even feel welcome there.
The high school does not always come off well in the 10-part series, but the school is screening every episode — and hosting small group discussions afterwards. Last night, more than 200 people stayed to talk about what they’d seen. WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton was there — and listened in.
Click the “play” button above to hear some of the discussion.
Linda Lutton is an education reporter at WBEZ. Follow her @WBEZeducation or @lindalutton.