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“Philly Black Mafia: ‘Do for Self'”

Black Entertainment Television (BET) produced the “Philly Black Mafia: ‘Do for Self'” episode of their wildly popular American Gangster program back in 2007, and it has been airing somewhat frequently on various networks (e.g., A&E) ever since.  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. 

February 2023 update: in addition to airing on various cable channels over the years, the program used to be streamed freely online and I used to embed it here.  Now that it is out of rotation and the free version has been removed online, to my knowledge the only means to view the episode is via iTunes here.


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