759: Boy Scouts of Harlem
759: Boy Scouts of Harlem is a family documentary about Boy Scout Troop 759, which meets in Harlem. It was directed by Jake Boritt and Justin Szlasa who also produced, wrote, and edited the film.
The documentary is available for streaming on Amazon Prime, for free on Vimeo, and is periodically broadcast on PBS stations in North America and on channels around the world.
The film premiered as a free community event on March 14, 2009 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem on Malcolm X Boulevard. Two weeks later it screened on board the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in Manhattan, then on October 8, 2009 Senator Jeff Sessions and Senator Ben Nelson sponsored a screening on Capitol Hill. The film aired on public television stations around the country starting in August 2010, as presented by Maryland Public Television.
The film follows four Boy Scouts and two Scout leaders, from the streets of Harlem to the woods of Camp Keowa on Crystal Lake in the Catskills. The newest Scout, eleven-year-old Keith Dozier, spends his first week at camp facing the challenges of the woods: the dock test in the deep lake, creatures of the night, the climbing tower, the raucous dining hall, and the kitchen. With help from his fellow Scouts and Scoutmaster Sowah, young Keith faces the challenges and earns his place as a Scout.
The Scoutmaster of Troop 759 is Okpoti Sowah, who was born in what is now Ghana. Sowah came to the United States to pursue his education and eventually earned a master's degree from Columbia University. The assistant Scoutmaster is Ann Dozier and the featured Scouts are Keith Dozier, Devon Howard, Emmanuel Nortey and the late Colin 'K.C.' Byers (1993-2011). Camp Keowa Staff include Andy Cabrera, John X. Restrepo and Marina Chernykh.
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- "So You Think You Know Boy Scouts?". Roll Call. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
- "Filming the Scouts of Harlem". Hopkins Magazine. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- "Philly Tribune Documentary helps Boy Scouts Broaden Horizons". Archived from the original on 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- Boston Globe Review
- New York Daily News Review
- Amsterdam News Review
- NY Post Opinion Kids Lose as NYC Kills Scouting
- Interview with Scouting News
- Interview with Scouting Radio
- Review by BSA-GNYC
- Review from Condo Life