The Handmaid's Tale Updated 10/12/19
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The Edna Karr High School football team is the pride of the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans, earning four state championships in the last five years. The predominantly Black team and coaching staff are among the nation’s best. Every year at least a dozen seniors from the school receive full scholarships to play football at division one colleges. And then there is the most important distinction: almost all the players have lost teammates, friends, and family to gun violence or prison.
To Coach Brice Brown, whose father was murdered on the streets of Algiers, winning is not the most crucial part of his job. His priority is keeping his players alive until they graduate – filling in as the father many players are missing, instilling a team spirit, and guiding them through their lives in a dangerous and fragile environment.
As guns become the country’s leading cause of child deaths, Algiers, America provides a rare and authentic, candid, and captivating portrait of a community fighting to stem the tide. This series will at once break your heart and inspire you with its unforgettable characters and tribute to possibility.
Head football coach Brice Brown, an Edna Karr alum and Algiers native, is the team’s inspirational leader, counselor, father figure, and mentor.
Algiers native and Edna Karr alum Dr. Ashonta Wyatt is the founder and Executive Director of Mother2Mother – a New Orleans non-profit organization against gun violence. She is a regular presence helping guide the student-athletes and the community.
Coach Norman Randall is a powerful presence everywhere he goes. As Coach Brice’s trusted lieutenant, Coach Norm – as he is fondly known – puts the safety and maturation of every Cougar first and foremost.
Team captain Tygee Hill was the number one high school defensive tackle as a junior. His family helps him navigate head-spinning recruitment process, as well as the streets of Algiers.
After losing three friends in two years to gun violence, senior All-American wide receiver Aaron Anderson found renewed hope in the sport he loves and plays so well.
Jawin Newman, the top running back on the best team in Louisiana, plays with a bullet lodged in his leg.
Highly rated AJ Samuels carries the team’s success in the throwing arc of his arm. Supported by loving and doting parents, the junior quarterback found the right balance between the pressure of being a star athlete and dealing with the specter of violence that looms over his community.
- Director: Jackson Fager
- Executive producers: Raina Kelley, Jackson Fager, Jeff Fager, Connor Schell, and Libby Geist
- Co-Executive producers: Marquis Daisy, Joe Langford, and Durado Brooks, Jr.
- Producers: Kristen Lappas and Raza Naqvi
S1 Episode 105 ‘Forever 48’
Hope and loss sit side by side in Algiers when the celebration of scholarships and graduation is tarnished by tragedy. But Coach Brown pushes forward, and the relentless pursuit of saving a child continues.
S1 Episode 104 ‘I’m not tired yet’
As the Cougars continue their dominance on the field, they navigate college offers and increasing violence. Thanksgiving offers a much-needed break from football, but then come the playoffs, and a tough opponent in the semifinals.
S1 Episode 103 ‘A cool head wins a hot game’
As Hurricane Ida batters New Orleans, several players and coaches evacuate Algiers. The Cougars are dominant as ever when the season finally starts despite a key injury in the squad. In a close game against crosstown rivals, a new superstar emerges.
S1 Episode 102 ‘Backs against the wall’
The Cougars battle for the state championship but immediately face the harsh realities of life in Algiers. Coach Brown and his staff work to keep their players off the streets and focused during a violent summer.
S1 Episode 101 ‘Long Live 5’
At Edna Karr High School in New Orleans, football coach Brice Brown and his Cougars have their eyes on a fifth straight Louisiana state championship. But a run for another title is shadowed by violence in Algiers, one of the city’s deadliest neighborhoods.
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