Freedom Writers

Taliyah Blount

“Freedom Writers” is a 2007 film based on a true story. The movie takes place in 1994, in the racially divided and

 dangerous city of Long Beach (a city in Los Angeles). The film revolves around an English teacher, Erin Gruwell, and her students, the Freedom Writers. Gruwell has a class of at-risk students who are deemed “incapable of learning” by other staff members at the school. The school, Woodrow Wilson High School, was also very racially divided. When Gruwell first got the job, the students didn’t like her one bit. They didn’t even pay her any mind. The class was uncontrollable. They felt as if she would never 

understand them because she was white and privileged. Even though it took some time, Gruwell got the class under control and she also got them to open up/like her more. One of the main parts of the story is when Gruwell gave the students journals (which is one of the reasons why they got the name “Freedom Writers”). She told the students that they could write whatever they wanted in them, but they had to write everyday. Shocked by what she read about the violence the students faced outside of school, Gruwell dedicated herse

lf and most of her time to make school the students’ favorite and safest place. Gruwell had to take matters into her own hands to ensure th

at the students got better educations. She even got a second job to fund for their field trip. The main thing that the students learned about was The Holocaust, and read This really inspired the students, and made them want to learn even more. Because of what they learned about the Holocaust, the students also realized that being rivals with each other, just because of race, should not be a reason to prohibit their friendships with one another. Eventually, the students raised enough money to have Miep Gies come to the United States and tell her story of her helping Anne Frank, her family, and the Van Pels hide from the Nazis. The students really loved meeting her. One day, Erin asks the students to write their diaries in book form which she then publishes as a book and names The Freedom Writers Diary. Eventually, the school year ended, but when the students realized that Gruwell wouldn’t be teaching them again, they got upset. So, Gruwell fought to be able to teach them for the rest of their high school years. The film ends with a note that Erin Gruwell successfully prepared numerous high school students to graduate and attend college (for many

, the first in their families to do so). Personally, I think this is an amazing movie. It proves that education can really make a difference.