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Twenty 12-year-old black boys from one of the most violent ghettos in Baltimore, Maryland, are taken 10,000 miles away to an experimental boarding school in rural Kenya, to try to take advantage of the educational opportunities they can't get in their own country. Written by
Why is this happening in America? Because not enough people care enough to change things. Why did these kids change in Africa? It was, as Bill Cosby said in his comments on the film, not because of the giraffes nor because the boys were too far away from the airport to run away. No, it was because they received more individual attention from adults who truly wanted them to succeed, and because of the school's structure and discipline. These are simple, basic things that are lacking in many urban public schools across America. But we did have them in American schools decades ago, and we could have them again -- this time without corporal punishment. If we cared enough, we would make all our schools like Baraka schools. If we cared enough, we would take the bull by the horns and break the cycle of inadequate education, drugs, crime, prison, death, and hopelessness. All our schools could provide structure and discipline, and could require real effort from the students while at the same time offering them care and support. These changes would not only increase the student's knowledge, skills, and abilities, they would foster greater self-discipline, self-confidence, and real hope that a better future is possible for them. And for far less money than we spend on war and our military, we could also have community centers to continue the job on weekends and evenings. If we really cared enough about our neglected urban poor it wouldn't be this way in America. BTW, it's an excellent documentary; I highly recommend it for anyone with both a heart and a mind, especially those who are comfortable and apathetic.
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