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In American Promise, African-American parents Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson film their son and his friend, who attend one of the country’s most prestigious private schools.

Filmmaker Interviews

Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster discuss their film 13 years in the making: American Promise.

Classroom Clips

Idris thinks about how he fits in with his basketball team and how he fits in at Dalton.

Classroom Clips

Behind Every Promise takes a behind-the-scenes look at the award-winning documentary American Promise, supplementing select scenes from the film with newly shot video testimonials from Idris Brewster and Seun Summers.

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  • Updated on November 17, 2014

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Film Information

American Promise (120 min.)

Premiere Date: February 3, 2014

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmakers: Joe Brewster , Michèle Stephenson Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Press Release | Idris and Seun: Milestones | Fact Sheet | Critical Acclaim


Joe Brewster
Joe Brewster
Michèle Stephenson
Michèle Stephenson

Film Update

Critical Acclaim

Not only provides illuminating insights into racial and cultural issues, but explores family dynamics common to all”

— Peter Keough, The Boston Globe

While they didn't set out to make a film about what newspaper columnists refer to as the 'black male achievement gap,' Brewster and Stephenson have done just that, and it's hard to imagine a more penetrating and powerful one.”

— Godfrey Cheshire,

In his State of the Union address this week, President Barack Obama spoke about making the American Dream possible for everyone. He noted that minorities still face challenges that other Americans do not. The documentary American Promise explores race, class and opportunity in America...Tough...heartbreaking.”

— Anne-Marie Green, CBS News "Up to the Minute"

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