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For Ahkeem cover image

For Ahkeem 2017

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Passion River Films, 154 Mt. Bethel Rd., Warren, NJ 07059; 732-321-0711
Produced by Nicholas Weissman
Directed by Jeremy S. Levine & Landon Van Soest
DVD, color, 90 min, Adult Content Advisory

High School - General Adult
African Americans, Poverty, Crime, Family

Date Entered: 08/17/2018

Reviewed by LaRoi Lawton, Library & Learning Resources Department, Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

blockquote> “ For Ahkeem explores the complex web between juvenile justice, education and institutional racism through Daje Shelton’ s vital but rarely heard perspective as a teenage girl and mother of a child in the state of Missouri today.”

The storyline of this documentary is unfortunately typical of many young teenagers of color today. A fight in school, an expulsion and then an immediate transfer to an alternative school. The viewer follows 17-year old Daje through her daily routines as she traverses her mother, school, friends, teachers, a boyfriend, pregnancy, and the birth of her child to her not-so-certain future. In the background and throughout the country, there are incidents of fatal shootings by white police officers coupled with community unrest and riots that began the day after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. On a good note, the judge that sentenced her to the alternative school, witnesses her graduation but like many other young people of color whose means of living is stunted, her continuing journey out of poverty as a young mother, is far from over.