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“America To Me” Review: An Eye-Opening Series

"America To Me" is a series everyone can learn from, says writer Kyleigh Edwards. (Photo: Courtesy)

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“America To Me” is an eye-opening series about race, life, and the struggles we face today.

The docuseries airs every Sunday on the Starz cable network. Overall, I think it is good for high schoolers and middle schoolers to encourage more conversations about race, a topic people in society tend to marginalize.

We don’t need to talk about race issues every day, but it’s important to know that they are still happening in our world. I think that’s what Jada Bufford was trying to say in a recent episode of “America To Me” when her teacher comments on her hair, on her having a new weave. He thinks he’s joking around with her, but she doesn’t treat it as a joke. Her teacher would talk about her hair almost every day without understanding how it affected her.

There are limits to what you can say to a person because not everyone will take it as a joke or even as a compliment. For example, I have had a teacher and even some church members say, “Oh you got new weave?” and “Don’t you ever comb your hair? It’s nappy” and they thought it was funny, but I didn’t. It made my whole day bad. I also think what Jada Bufford was trying to say is that you shouldn’t try to relate to someone about everything because sometimes you really can’t relate unless you have actually gone through it.

In this documentary, it’s not just about race, but about how people from different groups and races struggle every day, like with classes, homework, and even stress at home. What interests me most is how Oak Park High School, the school featured in the docuseries, teaches about race issues multiple times in class. It doesn’t just ignore the issue or push it under a rug. The series helps kids to not see the issue not as a joke, but as a very serious problem which if left alone today will still be here in our future.

“America To Me” is also good to watch because it shows positive examples for our kids, like the teachers at Oak Park helping students who don’t have enough money to pay for a tutor. The teachers create a group for kids so they can get help with what they don’t know or understand.

Overall, “America To Me” is a good example for all of us — kids and adults, too — by addressing the presence of race issues in schools today. In Episode 6, I love how Jada Bufford addresses the “N” word and how people use it. Just because the people around you say it doesn’t mean you have to say it or get mad because you can’t say it. Some people are ok with a different race saying it, but most aren’t because they think you’re attaching another meaning to it in addressing black people if you are not black. I can understand why this is important because people of all races say it like it’s nothing and forget that some people feel a certain way about it. It’s a part of our history and if the people around you don’t want you to say it, whether you are black or white, you should respect that.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a continuing series on race relations in America by Kyleigh Edwards.

 

 

 

 

 

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“America To Me” Review: An Eye-Opening Series