From the Tony- and Pulitzer-nominated playwright, actress, and activist: shining a light on the school-to-prison pipeline, this urgent new work of drama brings together seventeen voices from the African American community—students and teachers, counselors and congressmen, preachers and prisoners. Now a full-length HBO feature. An Anchor Original.
Notes from the Field—originally performed as a one-person play—portrays a host of real-life figures who have witnessed, experienced, and fought the system that pushes students of color out of the classroom and into prisons. (As Smith put it in a recent interview: "Stuff that for middle-class kids or rich kids, it’d be considered mischief; for poor kids, it’s really that road to prison.") We are introduced to these figures one by one: Sherrilyn Iffil, president of the NAACP; Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant, who spoke at the funeral of Freddie Gray; Niya Kenny, a high school student who was arrested for defending a classmate against a teacher’s overzealous discipline; Bree Newsome, the activist who made headlines when she removed the Confederate flag from the state house grounds of South Carolina; and many others. Taken together, these voices bear powerful witness to a great injustice of our time—and inspire us with their accounts of perseverance, resistance, and progress.