Black Lives: Beating the Odds in Baltimore

Black Lives: Doom. Choosing Between Good and Bad in Black US Neighborhoods

RT (2019)

Film Review

The ninth and final episode of RT’s Black Lives series focuses on positive changes Black community leaders are making in Baltimore – against great odds.

It starts by profiling a Black barber who learned his trade in prison, after being locked up at 16 for dealing drugs. Coming out with a skill he could use to support himself provided a clear pathway out of illegal activities destined to send him back to jail.

They also interview a black postal worker who asserts he claims he never had the “nerve” to dabble in illegal drugs.

We also meet a former gang leader who founded Men Against Murder after getting out of prison. The group enlists the help of other ex-cons to monitor illegal street activities and partner with families to get kids out of gangs and off drugs. He talks about running a group that assists young people transition out of foster care (in most states, the foster system simply suspends services at 18, leaving many of their wards homeless and jobless).

There are also heartbreaking scenes following a young African American with a good resume and no criminal record in his unbelievably disheartening struggle to find a job.

 

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