About the Characters

The Boys


Idris Brewster was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. In 2012 he graduated from the Dalton School and began his freshman year at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He is an avid skateboarder and enjoys a game of basketball every now and then.



Oluwaseun (Seun) Summers was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the eldest son of Tony and Stacey Summers. He graduated from Benjamin Banneker Academy in 2012 and began his freshman year at the State University of New York at Fredonia. He is a black belt in karate and enjoys drawing.

The Parents

Michèle Stephenson

Michèle Stephenson, Idris's mother, is a graduate of McGill University and Columbia Law School. Her Panamanian and Haitian heritage has fueled her passion for human rights and telling stories about communities of color. Her work has appeared on PBS, Showtime, MTV and other outlets. Stephenson's honors include the Silverdocs Diversity Award and the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media.


Joe Brewster

Joe Brewster, Idris's father, is a Harvard and Stanford-educated psychiatrist who specializes in organizational analysis, the use of psychoanalytical principals to understand and improve organizations. In 1992, Brewster sold his first screenplay to the Jackson/McHenry group under the Warner Bros. imprint. In 1996, he wrote and directed The Keeper, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and garnered numerous national and international awards, including an Independent Spirit Award nomination.


Stacey Summers

Stacey O. Summers, Seun's mother, is a graduate of Binghamton University. A nurse care manager for Elder Care Health, a managed long-term care agency based in New York City, Summers has dedicated most of her nursing career to providing support and care to the homebound elderly. The mother of four boys, she was born in Trinidad and raised in Brooklyn, New York.


Tony Summers

Anthony (Tony) Summers, Seun's father, is a graduate of Binghamton University. He works as a systems engineer for CBS and is a father of four. Prior to joining CBS, he worked in computer engineering around the globe in the service of a variety of corporations. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.


Milestones for Idris Brewster and Seun Summers


1999 Idris and Seun start kindergarten at the Dalton School.

2000 First grade - Republican candidate George W. Bush wins the presidency over Democrat Al Gore, but the final outcome is not known for more than a month because of disputed votes in Florida.

2001 Second grade - World Trade Center terrorist attack. Miles, Idris' younger brother, is born.

2002 Michèle and Joe are married at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The boys graduate from Dalton's lower school in June.

Idris and Seun

2002 Third grade

2003 Fourth grade - In September, the boys enter middle school at Dalton in a different, newer location. Idris visits his family in Haiti for Christmas. The Supreme Court votes five to four to uphold the University of Michigan Law School's policy that race may be one of many factors considered by colleges when selecting their students because incorporating race into admissions decisions furthers "a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body."

2004 Fifth grade - President George W. Bush beats Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry to gain a second term in office.

2005 Sixth grade

2006 Seventh grade

2007 Eighth grade Seun's final year at the Dalton School.

Idris and Michele

2008 June Idris and Sean graduate from Dalton's middle school.

2008 September Freshman year, high school. Seun starts at Benjamin Banneker Academy, a public school in Brooklyn. Idris starts at Dalton's high school and is invited to play basketball on the high school varsity team, where he is the only freshman on the team. United States presidential election 2008: Barack Obama (Democrat) defeats John McCain (Republican). Stacey, Seun's mother, is diagnosed with colon cancer and begins chemotherapy the following spring.

2009 Spring Break Seun travels to Benin, West Africa, with his high school Africa Tours Club.

2009 10th grade

2010 11th grade - A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hits Haiti and devastates the country. With the U.S. economy mired in a recession and unemployment remaining high, states have massive budget deficits, and as many as 300,000 teachers face layoffs.

2011 January The Summers family faces a life-changing event.

2011 September The boys begin their senior year of high school. They take the SAT exams and begin the college application process.


2012 High school graduation. Idris and Seun find part-time employment in a tough economy. Seun works at the Laundromat Project, an art advocacy group in New York City. Idris works as an English tutor at the Write for the Future program at New York University.

2012 Idris and Seun start their freshman year in college. President Barack Obama defeats Mitt Romney to be re-elected president.