Akeelah and the Bee (2006)


Apr 16 2023
1h 52m / PG / Drama

Akeelah (Keke Palmer), an 11-year-old girl living in South Los Angeles, discovers she has a talent for spelling, which she hopes will take her to the National Spelling Bee. Over the objections of her widowed mother (Angela Bassett), who fears it will distract her from school, Akeelah doesn’t give up on her goal. With help from her conflicted coach Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne) and the overwhelming support of her community, Akeelah might just have what it takes to make her dream come true.

Developed over the course of ten years, writer-director Doug Atchison was inspired to create Akeelah and the Bee after noticing that most of the winners of the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee came from well-off socioeconomic backgrounds. It’s a poignant and multifaceted examination of how race and class in America intersect with the public school system and how our kids are praised or disciplined. And more than that, it’s the inspirational story of a young girl who believes in herself no matter what the outcome.

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The Family Favorites Series is sponsored by Bank of America. Promotional support is provided by WEDU-PBS and Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.


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