15 TV And Movie Role Models For Young Black Girls

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Akeelah Anderson, Akeelah and the Bee

Akeelah Anderson (KeKe Palmer) is a 11-year-old spelling extraordinaire. She attends Crenshaw Middle School. She signs up for the Crenshaw Schoolwide Spelling Bee and wins. Her principal introduces her to his college friend, English professor Dr. Joshua Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), but he refuses to coach her for the National Spelling Bee because she’s rude to him.

She trains for the regionals on her own. She misses a word and is disqualified. Nevertheless, she’s advances to the national level after her sister catches another finalist cheating.

Eventually, she studies with Dr. Larabee, secretly after her mother (Angela Bassett) forbids her from competing due to her slipping grades.

Eventually, her mother and community come around. And folks around the neighborhood help her study — eventually winning the national spelling bee as a co-champion.

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