Watch: Documentary Looks at “Horrific” African-American Grad Rate at Thurgood Marshall

Today’s Examiner ran a story on “Why So Low?,” a five-minute documentary about the exceptionally low graduation rate of African Americans and especially African American males at Thurgood Marshall High School in San Francisco. Out of 150 African American seniors in 2009, just three boys and 13 girls graduated.

The documentary, made by Thurgood Marshall students Donel Finks, Angelica Escobar, Edgar Ulu, Fernando Torrez and Frank Nelson, finished first in the high school division of the sixth My Hero Short Film Festival, held at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles on Saturday. In the film, an assistant principal calls the current rate of graduation, which has been dropping for years, “horrific,” and one male African-American freshman says, “They judge you by your second-grade test scores…It seems to me they’ve been making my prison cell since the second grade. It’s not good to be thinking they already expect you to go to jail.”

Here is the full documentary:

Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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