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BET’s American Gangster on Philly’s Black Mafia

Black Entertainment Television (BET) has posted the entire (40 min.) “Philly Black Mafia: ‘Do for Self'” episode of their wildly popular American Gangster program.  I mentioned the program in a broader context elsewhere, but have never commented specifically on this episode – which is based on my Black Brothers, Inc.: The Violent Rise and Fall of Philadelphia’s Black Mafia (Milo, 2005/2007).  The producer, Henry Schipper, certainly did his homework, much of which never made it into the relatively brief show (covering 40 years in 40 minutes was quite a challenge for him and his colleagues, obviously).  The final product is a great representation of the story, told by several of the people who lived the experience and thus know it best. [September 2020 update: BET no longer posts the episode online, but it can be found via Vimeo here.]

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