Raising Bertie (excerpt)
(Secondary, Post-secondary, Rainbow Strand)
Director: Margaret Byrne
“Set in Bertie County, a rural African American-led community in Eastern North Carolina, Raising Bertie takes audiences deep into the emotional lives of three boys – Reginald “Junior” Askew, David “Bud” Perry, and Davonte “Dada” Harrell – over six-years as they come of age. Raising Bertie movingly weaves the young men’s stories together as they try to define their identities, interconnecting narratives of family, youthful innocence, first love, systemic racism, educational inequity, poverty and unemployment, and the will to succeed in the face of formidable odds.
Rural minorities like the youth in Bertie represent some of the nation’s most vulnerable and least visible individuals, existing at that critical juncture of rural disenfranchisement and the achievement gap for young people of color.. Raising Bertie is an experience that asks us to see this world through their eyes, inciting recognition of lives and communities too often ignored.