A young African-American teen attempts to survive with his dysfunctional family and his all-white school in the 1980s.
Motivated by his childhood experiences, Emmy Award-winner/actor/comedian narrates this very hilarious and touching story of a teenager growing up as the oldest of three children in Brooklyn, NY, in 1982. 1982 is the year that Chris () turns 13. Filled with dreams of being a cool teenager, Chris moves with his family from the projects to the "Bed-Stuy: Do or Die" neighborhood. As the familys emergency adult while his parents are working, hes responsible for taking care of his younger brother Drew (), whos taller and more confident than Chris, and sister Tonya (), who gets all the parents attention. Chris rough, cost-conscious father Julius () works numerous jobs to properly support his family. Sassy mom Rochelle () runs the household on a tight budget, is very strict, and works part-time in a small real estate office. With his mom determined to see him in a good school, though Drew and Tonya go to the same school in their old neighborhood, Chris reluctantly faces multiple bus transfers every day to attend Corleone Junior High in the fiercely Italian neighborhood, South Shore. Despite being an immediate target for bullies, Chris innate charm and sharp wit enable him to make new friends, like Greg (), another smart, nice kid... who cant fight, by the way. As pointedly looks back, his younger self is set to find what his family already knows: Chris sharp, scrappy character is going to take him places. But first, hes going to have to think, talk, or run his way through one growing experience after another at home and school... and on any number of buses along the way.