The Documentary Tells the Story of a Texas Suburb Embroiled in a Debate Over Racism, as a School Board Election Becomes a Referendum on the Town’s Future

Available Beginning September 3 on NBCNews.com, Subsequent Airings on NBC News NOW, Peacock and Telemundo

September 2, 2021 – NBC News Digital’s award-winning original video team is releasing a new documentary, Southlake: Racial Reckoning in a Texas Suburb. The doc tells the story of a Southlake father running for a school board seat on a shoe-string budget, a 56-year old Black mom of three fighting to keep her kids and others safe in school and a Black senior reconciling her years at the school while using her voice as the school board decides the fate of its racial diversity plan. Watch the trailer now

The documentary will be released on Friday, Sept. 3 at 7pm ET on NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com and will air on NBC News NOW on Monday, Sept. 6 at 7:30pm, 9:30pm and 12:30am ET and on Monday, Sept.13 at 8pm and 11pm ET. It will also be available on Telemundo.com on Sept. 13 and will be available on demand on Peacock, NBC’s streaming network, beginning Sept. 7. 

The film gives an inside look at an idyllic Dallas suburb, complete with expensive houses, perfectly manicured lawns and elegant, sprawling streets. Over the decades, families have flocked to Southlake to live the American Dream and send their kids to one of the highest-performing school districts in the country. But in 2018, a video of Southlake students chanting a racial slur went viral, forcing the wealthy, mostly-white school district to face racism head on. Prompted by the video, dozens of parents and students began sharing even more accounts of racism and discrimination in Southlake schools. When the school board proposed a Cultural Competence Action Plan in response, Southlake’s “silent majority” pushed back. And in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, Southlake’s school board meetings soon became a battleground for a much larger culture war over changing demographics and diversity education. What played out in Southlake would foreshadow similar fights across the country amid a national battle over Critical Race Theory. Peering past the shiny facade, Southlake: Racial Reckoning in a Texas Suburb reveals the deeper complexities of life in Southlake — and in America — in 2021.

The documentary is produced by NBC News’ Christine Nguyen and Mariana Henninger. Watch the trailer now, on NBC News’ YouTube channel.

The documentary is launching in conjunction with NBCU News Group’s weeklong series, Kids Under Pressure, examining the many challenges students and families are facing on the eve of return to school.


For more information, contact: 

Emily Passer
NBC News Digital

Claudia Meyer-Samargia
NBC News Digital

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