By Guest Contributor Kendra James
Andre Robert Lee’s documentary, The Prep School Negro, about the experience of black students at an elite Philadelphia prep school, begins in the West Elm neighborhood of Philadelphia, which he refers to as not the most dangerous neighborhood but still not the safest.
“Everyone says I got a Golden Ticket,” says Lee, narrating the introduction. When he was nine, his father left the family, leaving his mother to raise both him and his sister; his intelligence and penchant for talking and reading rather than fighting or playing sports marked him as different from a young age. Though he would come to receive a free tuition at Germantown Friends, he says, “there was still a great cost. As soon as I set foot in [Germantown Friends] I started to go in a different direction from my family.”