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Keke PalmerAkeelahLaurence FishburneDr. LarabeeAngela BassettTanyaCurtis ArmstrongMr. WelchJ.R. VillarrealJavierSean Michael AfableDylanSahara GareyGeorgiaLee Thompson YoungDevonJulito McCullumTerrenceErica HubbardKianaEddie SteeplesDerrick-TDalia PhillipsMs. CrossTzi MaMr. ChiuJeris PoindexterSteveSara NiemietzPollyGeorge HornedoRomanCraig WassonTed SaundersJeff MarlowDistrict JudgeLee GarlingtonRegional JudgeKatie Kerwin McCrimmonHerselfSid GanisRegional PronouncerAustin Herrera DavisCheating BoyJanet BorrusCheating Boy's MomWolfgang BodisonAkeelah's FatherBonita FriedericyVolunteerLauren SánchezReporterFay HauserWoman on TVJack OngKorean GrocerNeil SoniRajeev Subramonian
Eleven year-old Akeelah Anderson's life is not easy: her father is dead, her mom ignores her, her brother runs with the local gangbangers. She's smart, but her environment threatens to strangle her aspirations. Responding to a threat by her school's principal, Akeelah participates in a spelling bee to avoid detention for her many absences. Much to her surprise and embarrassment, she wins. Her principal asks her to seek coaching from an English professor named Dr. Larabee for the more prestigious regional bee. As the possibility of making it all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee looms, Akeelah could provide her community with someone to rally around and be proud of -- but only if she can overcome her insecurities and her distracting home life. She also must get past Dr. Larabee's demons, and a field of more experienced and privileged fellow spellers.
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