Akeelah and the Bee - Essay

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Akeelah and the Bee
April 20, 2012

Identifying Information
Akeelah is an eleven year old African American girl who lives in South Los Angeles being raised by her mother, Tanya, who father was killed when she was six years old. She is attending Crenshaw Middle School. She has three siblings and a niece and her mother works long hours to have extra money to support her family. Akeelah is a very smart an intelligent girl who loves to study and learn words. Presenting Problem

Akeelah is grieving the death of her father even though he died when she was six years old. It appears her mother is not emotionally supportive to Akeelah through this grieving process because her mother works long hours as a nurse. Akeelah is not only having to cope with her father’s death but her mother who is still mourning her husband death and worried about her son, Terrance, who is hanging out with gang members. Akeelah is faced with bullying at school as well as being bored because she already knows the material being taught. Current Situation

Akeelah appears to be trying to cope with the death of her father who died when she was six years old. She misses her father by withdrawing and isolating herself at home by studying words. Because her father loved to play scrabble, learning words is a reconnection with her him. When Akeelah joined the spelling bee contest, there is evidence of separation and tension between her and her mother. Her mother appears to be in the dark about how knowledgeable Akeelah is with words, so she tries to hold her back. Akeelah is dealing with issues at Crenshaw Middle School where she is shy and embarrassed for being smarted than the other children in her class. Akeelah down plays her smartness because she does not want her peers to think of her as the smart child in the class. Akeelah is already being bullied by other classmate, and they are trying to coerce her in to doing their homework for them. Akeelah seems to be having trouble because of the stage of her life she is presently in and her separation from parental structures. Early adolescent can be hard and elf-esteem and self-image is significant in how positive, confident and successful as individual becomes as an adult. Family History

Akeelah is from an African-American single parent family who lives with her mother, Tanya, who was left alone after the death of her husband, her older sister, Kiana, who is a mother, an older brother, Terrance, who hangs with gang members, and Devon, who is in the Air Force in order to earn a free education. Akeelah’s father was shot and killed in the neighborhood when she was six years old. Her mother is faced with working long hours to make a decent living for her family while mourning the death of her husband, worried about her son in the military, her daughter being a single parent, and her son hanging out with the wrong crowd that are gangsters. Comprehensive Theoretical Analysis

Akeelah attends an improvised school, Crenshaw Middle School, in South Los Angeles, which has very limited resources. Akeelah is trying to fit in with her classmates by hiding her intelligence to avoid harassment from her peers. She skips a lot of classes because the curriculum is unchallenging. Akeelah excels on her spelling tests because she studies different words as her hobby to stay connected with her dead father. Her excessive absences give her principal, Mr. Welch, an edge to coerce her into competing in the school spelling bee or face detention. Akeelah learns to believe in herself and value her intelligence in the spelling bee. As Akeelah self-esteem builds, she meets other competitive speller who she can relate to because they are as intelligence and smart like her. The professor from UCLA, Dr. Larabee, is introduce to her by Mr. Welch and becomes her spelling coach for the spelling bee competitions. Akeelah’s spelling competition brings achievement, empowerment and neighborhood pride to everyone affiliated...
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