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Minorities 3SHARE - J662 3rd Paper Part Mr Rogers Part...

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October 16, 2007 J662: 3 rd Paper Part Mr. Rogers, Part Spike Lee: It’s a Beautiful Day in da ‘Hood Reading the collected body of Life and Death in Allied Drive , the slum-like descriptions, the “ghetto” conditions, I am reminded of a personal experience from this past summer. It was August in Baltimore (well, I suppose it was August everywhere) and I found myself somewhere in a neighborhood somewhere between the inner harbor and Towson, a bleak expanse most upper-middle class white folks won’t traverse at less than 80 miles per hour which has earned Charm City it’s other nickname: Bodymore, Murderland. It’s midnight, and I’m watching a silver SUV parked in an alley behind a series of mostly boarded up row houses. Suddenly a gunshot rings out from the car, the driver’s side window shatters, and the driver slumps down dead. The Director yells “ cut! If you have never seen HBO’s The Wire , Professor Danky, you absolutely must; it’s as if they made a show specifically designed to augment this class, but more specifically this segment on Allied Drive. Imagine Law & Order but with the dual modifier of being on HBO, and set in Baltimore, such that race is always a factor, and actual swearing, drugs and violence are brought to you as only HBO can 1 . Filmed entirely on location and more closely based on real events than the rest of America might comfortably believe, working for the show this summer took me through some of Baltimore’s worst neighborhoods, and while tempered by the security of a cast and crew, in order to recreate much of that world on the small screen. 1 The fifth and final season airs in January, focusing on the newspaper and its coverage of the homeless crisis in Baltimore.
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I suppose the point to all this is that I probably look at Allied Drive in a slightly different light. While one who has not seen The Wire might think my views on drug dealing and slums may be somewhat romanticized, a childhood in Washington DC,
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