The Freedom Writers Diary

The Freedom Writers Diary

by

Erin Gruwell

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Freedom Writers Diary can help.

The Freedom Writers Diary: Part I: Diary 2 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
As the only white person in this class, this student feels distressed and confused, uncomfortable at being stuck with difficult kids who come from bad neighborhoods. He feels that the class is unmanageable and that Ms. Gruwell will probably soon give up on this job. He describes the high school quad as a highly divided area, separated into groups according to race and ethnicity, as rich white kids, Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans each have their separate sections. These divisions are directly reflected in the classroom dynamics.
This white student feels uncomfortable not only because of his race, but also because of his socioeconomic status—two characteristics that set him apart from the rest of the class. His feelings of discomfort are not surprising given the ethnic divisions that affect the entire school. Despite studying in the same buildings, it is apparent that the different groups do not interact.
Themes
Race, Ethnicity, and Tolerance Theme Icon
Education and Healing Theme Icon
The student decides that he needs to join another class, the Distinguished Scholars, which is predominantly white and where most of his friends are, so that he can safely be with people who look like him. He makes a plan for his counselor to transfer him to the Distinguished Scholars class. Even though he has a learning disability, which would normally prevent him from making such a change, he trusts that the fact that he is white will play in his favor. He believes that, if he stays, he will either get robbed or die of boredom.
This student’s desire to join another class has less to do with his academic ability than with his race. This, in addition to the student’s trust in the fact that his race will help him transfer away from Ms. Gruwell’s class, points to the racial inequalities at play within the school system itself, as it seems that—at least in this student’s mind—white students are given an advantage over other students.
Themes
Race, Ethnicity, and Tolerance Theme Icon
Education and Healing Theme Icon
Violence, War, and Death  Theme Icon