J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only documentary was a powerful watch about the daily struggles of regular life in black communities across the South. For his latest television project, Cole is continuing to give some of the least visible people a voice by executive producing a docuseries on three young black men growing up in his home state of North Carolina.
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Premiering on PBS later this month, Raising Bertie follows the lives of Reginald “Junior” Askew, David “Bud” Perry and Davonte “Dada” Harrell, three natives of rural Bertie County, for a full six years. The series is an intimate and emotional portrait of their respective journeys in life through family, love, graduation and employment, as well as poverty, poor schooling and systemic racism.
With Cole as an executive producer, the series is directed by filmmaker Margaret Byrne. “I didn’t want to focus on stories of the exceptional,” she said. “The truth is, I made a film about three kids I met and I cared about. The individuals in this story are representative of their community and they matter.”
Raising Bertie premieres on PBS on August 28. Watch the trailer below.