The Maker Of Boyz N The Hood Shows The Origins Of Crack In The Hood (Video)

There’s an epidemic sweeping the country. Headlines refer to it as an opioid issue, and one that is being treated with a gentler response than the U.S. crack epidemic of the 1980s. As Ambrosia For Heads has reported in the past, the rising number of White Americans stuck in the pain medication-heroin addiction cycle plaguing the country has led the media and government to approach the health crisis with a stronger focus on healthcare and rehabilitation. The same can’t be said for the mostly Black and Brown Americans who were victimized by the one-two punch of crack cocaine and a racist criminal-justice system that treated addiction as a criminal problem.

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Though a generation removed, pockets of today’s America are still reeling from the effects of the crack era, with thousands of men and women still serving sentences for crimes relating to their addictions. That, coupled with the opioid crisis makes right now a fitting time for John Singleton’s forthcoming FX drama series, Snowfall. As reported by Rolling Stone, “the first African-American ever nominated for a Best Director Oscar revisits the crime-ridden Los Angeles he once observed first-hand – and offers a larger, much-needed historical context that helped shape” the backdrop for Singleton’s iconic film Boyz n the Hood.

Debuting July 5, the show will follow “an ambitious L.A. youngster who makes money selling dope to rich White kids,” eventually hustling “his way into doing business with some high-powered international criminals, which eventually puts him in a prime spot to distribute the mob’s newest product: crack cocaine.” Snowfall will be a combination of a scripted drama and a collection of Singleton’s own memories of growing up in the 1970s and ’80s, “part Boyz n the Hood, part Goodfellas.”

In the season one trailer, lead character Franklin Saint (played by Damson Idris) maneuvers through the streets of 1983 Los Angeles, turning his South Central experiences into Hollywood opportunities. From the city’s underbelly to its glitz and glamor, Snowfall tells the story of what set the stage for what was to come: “this is how crack came to be.”

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Speaking to the veracity of the show and its inclusion of controversial history including the CIA’s alleged involvement in propagating the crack era’s enduring chokehold on Black America, Singleton said in a statement at a debut screening of Snowfall “There are people that lived this stuff. We had to bring people in the room that could speak to this. We brought in consultants who were deep into each part of it.”