For Ahkeem

PRESENTED BY: Backbone Meaningful Movies on Vashon
6:00 PM, Tuesday, January 8, 2019 PST
Location: Vashon (click for map)

“People been labeling me a bad kid all my life. You don’t have to really do nothing, people just expect it.

So you start to expect it of yourself.”

– Daje Shelton

Beginning one year before the fatal police shooting of a Black teenager in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, “For Ahkeem” is the coming-of-age story of Daje Shelton, a Black 17-year-old girl in North St. Louis. She fights for her future as she is placed in an alternative high school and navigates the marginalized neighborhoods, biased criminal justice policies and economic devastation that have set up many Black youth like her to fail.

Over two years we watch as Daje struggles to maintain focus in school, attends the funerals of friends killed around her, falls in love with a classmate named Antonio, and navigates a loving-but-tumultuous relationship with her mother. As Antonio is drawn into the criminal justice system and events in Ferguson just four miles from her home seize the national spotlight, Daje learns she is pregnant and must contend with the reality of raising a young Black boy.

Through Daje’s intimate story, “For Ahkeem” illuminates challenges that many Black teenagers face in America today, and witnesses the strength, resilience, and determination it takes to survive.

Sponsors: Co sponsored by Island Green Tech, Vashon Theatre, and Vashon SURJ - Showing Up for Racial Justice.

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Release Year: 2017

Running Time: 90 minutes

Director: Landon Van Soest and Jeremy S. Levine