“Black and Missing” is a 2021 documentary in part about Black and Missing Foundation, Inc (BAMFI) a Maryland-based non-profit founded and managed by Derrica and Natalie Wilson. But it’s also about the sobering fact that every year in America, hundreds of thousands of people go missing. Of the missing, a disproportionate number are people of color and in particular, Black. Yet, while this should be regarded as a major issue, a lot of people are largely unaware. This is due in part to several factors, some of which are related to racism and/or income levels.
A review of “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children”, a 2020 five-part HBO miniseries about the Atlanta Child Murders. Following the 1973 election of Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first Black mayor, the city launched an effort to rebrand itself. Adopting the tagline “The City Too Busy to Hate” Atlanta tried to reposition itself as being focused on commerce and progress rather than upholding racist traditions. But for two years, spanning 1979 to 1981, approximately 30 Black children and young adults went missing and were found murdered. The string of murders brought attention to the city but for all the wrong reasons and shed light on how little things had changed for many Black residents.
New Jack City is a 1991 Mario Van Peebles film about a Harlem drug kingpin and the local police force that is intent on bringing him down. Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) along with his right-hand man Gee Money (Allen Payne) and their Cash Money Brothers crew rise in the drug underworld as they expand into selling crack cocaine. The new drug brings large profits but also distrust among the once-solid crew as the neighborhood deteriorates due to violence and increased drug addiction which draws the attention of Scotty Appleton (Ice-T), an undercover police officer.
A review of “Deacon King Kong” by James McBride which tells the story of Deacon Cuffy Lambkin, better known as “Sportcoat”, and the chain of events he unwittingly sets in motion when he shoots Deems Clemens, the leader of the neighborhood drug dealers. The story is primarily set in a fictional housing project, the Causeway Houses or Cause, and its surrounding neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. It features an expansive cast of characters that might initially take a bit of time to differentiate but they become richly detailed and fleshed out as the story progresses. This is an incredible book and probably one of the best fictional books that I’ve ever read.
Lonnie Franklin, a well-liked man from South LA was arrested on suspicions of being a serial killer. He was believed to have killed more than 100 women over a span of 25 years. The documentary “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” attempts to shed light on the murders, police investigations, community response, and Lonnie Franklin.