The Documentary Showing Young Black Men Preparing To Achieve Greatness
The Grio’s report on the documentary The Infamous Future starts with the same strong words that start the documentary itself: “I have the greatest story that has never been told.” This is the context which we should look at the film, covering the work of the educators and students at the Eagle Academy For Young Men schools in New York City.
“We have an opportunity each day to consider that the negative news isn’t the only news for the day, and take a look at something that is creating a different, positive headline through Eagle Academy,” said John Campbell who wrote and executive produced the film. “I wanted to write a story about something positive in education and hoped that it would motivate the viewer to be inspired.” The Eagle Academy Schools are headed by David C. Banks, President and CEO of The Eagle Academy Foundation, in partnership with 100 Black Men Inc.
“A lot of people, you know, believe that you’re from the South Bronx, you’re not going to make it, you’re not going to go to college, you’re not going to be what you want to be,” Joshua Perez says in the film. Perez is a student at The Eagle Academy For Young Men of the Bronx and shares many of his challenges as he works his way through the seven-year program.
The schools, in many ways, are a spin on the statistic that 75 percent of prisoners incarcerated in New York State prisons came from just seven neighborhoods in New York City. These neighborhoods, including the South Bronx, Brownsville, Brooklyn, and Harlem, are all home to Eagle Academy locations. “I honestly hope that people are as inspired by that fight as they are troubled by some of the statistics, “The Infamous Future” director, Richard Butterworth told theGrio via email. Five more schools have opened since the program’s start in 2004.