South East 67, SOUTHEAST67, Washington DC, Crack Epidemic, Crime, KOLUMN Magazine, Kolumn

Documentary Uncovers Student Challenges During D.C.’s Crack Epidemic

Documentary Uncovers Student Challenges During D.C.’s Crack Epidemic
BY SHANTELLA Y. SHERMAN | SPECIAL TO THE AFRO

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South East 67, SOUTHEAST67, Washington DC, Crack Epidemic, Crime, KOLUMN Magazine, Kolumn

Washington, D.C. has been known over the years by several monikers, “Our Nation’s Capital,” “Chocolate City,” and for an unfortunate period of time, America’s “Murder Capital.” It was during the latter, at the height of a seemingly unending crack epidemic that an entire generation of children – primarily in the city’s Southeast quadrant – faced the debilitating effects of the epidemic’s addiction and violence. Kramer Middle School, sadly, sat in its center.

Among Kramer’s students, 67 seventh graders were promised college scholarships by area businessman Stewart Bainum through the I Have a Dream program, a national movement to provide kids in underserved communities the opportunity to attend college. The documentary, “Southeast 67,” examines twelve of those students’ struggles to balance the dream of college with daily survival in a community that often mirrored a war zone. Now 20 years later, some members of the 67 attended a documentary screening about their struggles on April 29 held at Kramer Middle School.


South East 67, SOUTHEAST67, Washington DC, Crack Epidemic, Crime, KOLUMN Magazine, Kolumn


FILM SYNOPSIS
Devastated by the arrival of crack cocaine in the 1980s, Washington, DC became known as our nation’s “Murder Capital.” Growing up at the epicenter of this violence—in southeast DC—67 rising seventh graders were promised college scholarships by area businessman Stewart Bainum through the I Have a Dream program, a national movement to provide kids in underserved communities the opportunity to attend college. Southeast 67 focuses on the students’ struggles to reconcile the dream of college with daily survival in a community rife with violence, poverty and addiction. SOUTHEAST67.COM


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