Russell Simmons Presents: Brave New Voices: Season 1

2009 NR 2 discs

Russell Simmons Presents: Brave New Voices: Season 1

2009 NR 2 discs
  • Overview
  • Details
Executive producer Russell Simmons cups an ear to capture the passion of young voices in this HBO series following six diverse teams that are prepping for the 2008 Brave New Voices National Youth Poetry Slam Championship. Among the contenders are a Floridian girl fighting sickle-cell anemia, an 18-year-old New Yorker with cerebral palsy and a Navajo Indian who relies on poetry to preserve her culture. Queen Latifah narrates.
Queen Latifah, Ben Alfaro, Carolyn Blessing, Jasmine Bailey, Jamaica Osorio, Ittai Wong, B. Yung, Britney Wilson, Josh Bennett, Aysha El Shamayleh, Alysia Harris, Devin Murphy, Ericka Sheppard, Mike Taylor, April Chavez
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1
English SDH
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 14+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 14+
age 14+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this inspiring series spotlights teens who are writing and performing poetry as an alternative way of coping with difficult life issues like racism, illness, violence, and more. Some of the poems contain rough language (unblepeed, since it's HBO) and occasional racial epithets (including the "N" word). But despite their strong content, the stories are poignant and honest, and overall the series offers very positive messages about using art as way of empowering change.

Sexual Content

Some poems deal with teen sexual issues, while others deal with heavy topics like incest.


Poems and life stories often deal with violent themes, including lynching, gang/drug violence, rape, and child abuse. Sometimes the poets may argue or lose their tempers and act aggressively (like punching a wall), but it's never aimed at other people.


Some poems feature strong language, ranging from words like â¿¿suckâ¿ and â¿¿damnâ¿ to â¿¿f--k," "s--t," and the "N" word, as well as other occasional racial epithets.

Social Behavior

Teens use poetry and spoken word to empower themselves. The series highlights the importance of mentorship, leadership, and team building. The teens and their mentors are from all over the country and from a wide range of racial/ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Several are disabled.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Some poems and personal stories talk about living among drug dealers and/or coping with alcoholics.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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