OUR AMERICA tells the true story of two inner city youths who set out to document their tough Chicago neighborhood for National Public Radio. The African American teens, Lloyd Newman (Brandon Hammond) and LeAlan Jones (Roderick Pannell), are mentored in their project by a white radio producer, Dave Isay (Josh Charles), who teaches the boys how to use the portable recording equipment. The result--a gritty but moving radio diary entitled "Ghetto Life 101"--reveals the drugs, crime, and violence that permeate life in the notorious Ida B. Wells housing project on Chicago's South Side. Lloyd and LeAlan's intimate portrait of a large-scale human tragedy eventually earns them a prestigious Peabody Award for excellence in broadcast journalism.