April 16, 2024
Freedom Writers true story

Freedom Writers is a compelling story of how a teacher found a way to help her students build life skills that made them better for life. Erin Gruwell, the protagonist, became a teacher at the Woodrow Wilson High School in 1994 and was shocked to see how uncultured and racially insensitive the students were. Facing challenges from the students from the onset, Gruwell set out to help the students become better. However, many have asked if Freedom Writers true story exists. In this article, we will reveal the truth about this and help you see how to connect the dots.

The Freedom Writers is a drama directed by Richard LaGravenese, with the stellar performances of Hilary Swank as Erin Gruwell, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey, Mario, Scott Glenn. The film is based on The Freedom Writers Diary, a book by teacher Erin Gruwell and her students. The students and their teacher combined to write a diary about their lives while in Woodrow Wilson Classical High School in Long Beach, California. Many do not know that the movie is also based on the 1960s civil rights movement, the Freedom Riders. They who defied the US Supreme Court decision to segregate interstate buses.

Freedom Writers True Story?

The question of if Freedom Writers is based on a true story, the answer is yes, it is. The story begins when in 1994, in a racially charged area in Long Beach, California, when a teacher joined a high school -Woodrow Wilson Classical High School used to be a reputable school until voluntary integration forced the school to decline its prowess. Erin Gruwell accepted to become an English teacher. She became the teacher for a number of students who were at risk of leaving the school.

In her first days in class, Erin observed a racist drawing and used that as an inspiration to teach the class about the Holocaust. To her surprise, only one person in the whole class had heard about the Holocaust. To further enhance their learning abilities, she bought composition books for her students to get them to write about themselves. The students seized the opportunity to write about the abuse, the challenges they faced back at home and on the streets. With an intense desire to see that her students change for the better, Erin Gruwell takes up two jobs to cater to her needs and help the students buy books. In helping them understand the significance of the Holocaust, she invited Holocaust survivors to share their stories. After a while, the students began to understand that racial integration is key to their development.

Freedom Writers true story
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Freedom Writers True Story: Erin Gruwell Faced Criticisms From Her Colleagues

With a different approach in successfully teaching the most notorious students in the school, Gruwell’sGruwell’s colleagues were not happy. Her unique style received mockery from her colleagues, including the department chair Margaret Campbell. But, Erin did not stop as changes began to occur in her students.
The students had various stories to tell and help them keep their stories; she asked them to write their stories in diaries. These diaries were combined with being titled the Freedom Writers Diary.

Criticisms Of The Freedom Writers Story

Even though the film gathered a lot of positive reviews, it still had jarring reviews. For example, Cynthia Fuchs of Common Sense Media believes that the actors were too old to play high school students. Nevertheless, on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie received 70% positive reviews. Generally, the movie has received positive reviews, with a few people castigating the painting of the other teachers as bad.

The Freedom Writers true story is basically about how a teacher could make her students sail above racial segregation waters. She made them see beyond their racial differences. Gruwell was also instrumental to the rehabilitation of the students who were once used to violence.

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The Freedom Writers True Story: Where are the Students Now?

Fortunately, all Erin Gruwell’sGruwell’s students graduated from high school. Some of them proceeded to college, while others decided to do something else with their lives. For Erin, she established the non-profit organization Freedom Writers Foundation in 1997. She had some of her former students work under her.


The essence of the Freedom Writers story is to teach that people need to adjust and understand racial differences. For Erin Gruwell, it was a grueling task to help those students the school considered “unteachable.” But, she also helped in making sure that they found a solid footing for their future.