All American For the Win

CW’s All American went from one of their channel’s  least-watched shows to number one on Netflix within four months. Since Netflix allowed for a wider audience to stream the teen drama, people are loving it. 

 Featuring a raw depiction of the struggles faced by Americans of color, in addition to an enticing storyline, All American continues to  pull in viewers everywhere. 

The show follows Spencer James, played by Daniel Ezra, an intelligent football phenomenon who was doing his best in South Crenshaw, a crime ridden area that faces economic disadvantages and racism, when Coach Billy Baker, played by Taye Diggs, recruits him to come play for Beverly Hills High instead. Spencer is hesitant at first, but ends up taking the deal with a forceful nudge by his mother, Grace James, played by Kamirah Westbrook. He ends up moving in with the coach, his wife Laura and their two children: Olivia, the school outcast due to a drug addiction and lengthy trip to rehab, and Jordan, Spencer’s teammate and eventual close friend. 

All American cast | Photo courtesy of Best Movie Cast

Upon relocation, Spencer soon realizes he must start his football career from rock bottom as his previous reputation at Crenshaw holds no ground within the pristine, polished Beverly Hills. He is forced to acclimate into the culture and play for the predominantly white Beverly Hills team  although his heart is back in Crenshaw. 

The people around Spencer in Beverly Hills, especially Coach Baker and his family, break their bubbles  as they get closer with Spencer, especially Jordan and Olivia. 

The more familiar they become with Spencer’s struggles the more they realize how  sheltered they are from the many experiences other people of color living under the poverty line have to go through due to their social status. With encounters of unprecented police brutality, racial profiling, and overall blatant racism, the audeince is given a glimpse of the many struggles of black americans. 

All American not only addresses racial and economic struggles, but  also depicts the effects of a demanding society on developing teenagers. This can be seen through  Olivia Baker’s drug and alcohol abuse, and Spencer’s love interest, Student Council President, and daughter of big time music producer, Layla Keating’s depression. 

The show is unique in that it addresses real world problems,  by focusing on the perspective of  people going through them. It’s a dramatic and charming show that’s still able to remain relevant by creating a much needed platform to discuss the struggles of marginalized communities of color. 

Written by Roaa Alkhawaja

Co-Editor in Chief and Senior, Ro'aa Alkhawaja, loves herself a good week of reading, baking, tea-drinking, and eating more Nutella sandwiches than should be humanly possible.

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