When Erin Gruwell starts her job as a teacher of a class for at-risk students who are divided by race, discrimination, and those who despise and harbor animosity against one another, she discovers that there is more to someone than what meets the eye and if given the chance, a person can change his life’s ways for the better. The Freedom Writers is based on a true story, it is not a fiction story nor are the characters imaginary.
The Freedom Writers movie depicts the harsh reality of police brutality and how children from underprivileged backgrounds believe they don’t deserve to get proper education just because they come from the “hood.”
“At sixteen, I’ve seen more bodies than a mortician. Every time I step out my door, I face the risk of being shot. To the rest of the world, it’s just another dead body on a street corner. They don’t know that he was my friend.” – Deance Wyatt – Jamal Hill
The viewers get the opportunity to see the character development of each movie character. We get to see how angry they were at the beginning of the movie and at the end, they changed their life’s ways and realized that life is not always unfair and with a little more courage, hard work, and commitment, they too, can change their lives for the better. Injustice is everywhere. But just because they’ve faced injustice, does not mean they deserve a life filled with misery and illiteracy.
The Freedom writers movie depicts how one good teacher can change her student’s life with one thing: love.
As the saying goes, the only thing that wins against hatred and anger is love. The sadness and hurt that made a home in the hearts of the characters stemmed from a lack of safety, warmth, and compassion they felt from growing up in a society that considered them “dangerous” because they looked and spoke differently.
“My brother taught me what the life is for a young black man. Pimp, deal, whatever. Learn what colors to wear. Gang banners. You can sell to one corner, but you can’t sell another. Learn to be quiet. The wrong word can get you popped.” – Mario – Andre Bryant
Some harsh truths need to be told. How can someone change their life if they keep running away from reality? The Freedom Writers movie depicts how life is like for some of us because we come from “minority” backgrounds.
The reason why I could relate to almost all characters of this movie was because I knew how they felt, being different than everyone else, always the odd one out, lack of opportunities, and the fear of not fitting in with the rest of the world.
“When I look out in the world, I don’t see nobody that looks like me with their pockets full unless they’re rapping a lyrics or dribbling a ball.” Jason Finn – Marcus
Although many lessons dawned upon me when I saw this movie for the first time, one of the main lessons I learned was: no matter how bad my past has been, I deserve to change for the better. It doesn’t matter where I come from, what my family background has been, I deserve to live a life I have always dreamed of.
Tito from the Freedom Writers said, “Nobody cares what I do. Why should I bother coming to school?”
Education played a substantial role in changing the lives of each character in this movie. At the beginning of the movie, the viewers could see each character’s disinterest in pursuing higher education. However, a few months later, all of them decided to pursue their higher degrees. In reality, all of the Freedom Writers have gone as far as pursuing their master’s degrees!
A wise man once said, “Education is your ticket out of misfortune and poverty. If you desire to change your life and the life of your loved ones for the better, try attaining the best education possible. And if you find it difficult to attain education due to financial constraints, work part-time and save up for a few years before pursuing a degree that will help you attain a stable job or give you enough knowledge to launch a business of your own choice. Education is vital and necessary to sustain life. Education can be defined as what? Knowledge of a particular area of work, such as an education in arts, education in medicine, education in designing, and an education in business. If an individual does not have the necessary education and the given work experience in his area of work, it will be difficult, almost impossible for him, to succeed.”
Education does not mean spending a million dollars on a useless college degree. Education is meant to increase your knowledge in a specific area where you can use that knowledge to make a better future for yourself, your loved ones, and the members of your community.
The Freedom Writers realized the true importance of education and changed their entire perspective when their teacher assigned them to write about their life experiences in a diary. It was only upon expressing their anger, fears, and trauma, they were able to truly heal, move on, and realize their faults. And upon realizing their faults, the young Freedom Writers pursued their education with confidence, courage, and zeal.