The Learning Tree | 1969

Directed by: Gordon Parks

The Learning Tree Poster

Main Plot

"The Learning Tree" follows the life of a young African American boy growing up in rural Kansas during the 1920s. He faces racial discrimination, personal challenges, and learns valuable life lessons about love, family, and the importance of education.


  • Kyle Johnson plays Newt Winger, a young African American boy navigating racial tensions and personal growth in rural Kansas.
  • Alex Clarke is the protagonist of The Learning Tree, a young African American boy navigating racial discrimination and self-discovery.
  • Estelle Evans plays Sarah, a supportive mother who plays an important role in guiding her son's journey in The Learning Tree.

Ending Explained

In the conclusion of "The Learning Tree," Newt, a young African-American boy, faces the tragic loss of his friend Marcus, who was killed by a white man. Newt's father, a photographer, captures the incident on film, leading to the arrest of the murderer. Newt's father teaches him the importance of forgiveness and understanding, and Newt learns to let go of his anger. The film ends with Newt leaving his small town to pursue his dreams of becoming a photographer, symbolizing his growth and resilience in the face of racial injustice.

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Gordon Parks Kyle Johnson Alex Clarke Estelle Evans