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One school's fight to empower Black children

Opening day at a Texas charter school that’s serving the needs of Black and brown kids. Into America learns how the school almost didn’t happen.

Last month a new charter school opened on San Antonio’s East Side. Essence Preparatory Public School was founded with a specific mission: to serve the Black and brown children that the public school system was consistently failing, developing those children into leaders for their community.

But as Essence Prep made its way through Texas’s charter approval process, they were drawn into the state’s battle over how race and history is taught in public schools.The school was even forced to update their charter application, with state authorities saying that they used the words “Black” and “brown” too many times. They lost months of preparation and a multi-million-dollar bond deal. And they accrued thousands of dollars in legal feesalong the way.

But through it all, Essence Prep made it to opening day, and Into America was there. This week we take you along for the ride – the highs and lows that founderAkeem Brown traversed to get to this point, as well as the voices of the students, teachers, and parents that make up the community Essence Prep was founded to serve.

Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod.

Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com.

Find the transcript here.

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