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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Political > Gangsta King: Raymond Lee Washington

Gangsta King: Raymond Lee Washington


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Main Program: C+



There has been much revisionist thinking about the Brown vs. Board Of Education decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that ended the segregation of black and white students.  The extreme Right in their “pretend were not racists” racism thinks it made all hell break loose, while the liberal myth is that it made everything in the country better by giving more people freedom, but they are both wrong.  Gangsta King: Raymond Lee Washington suggests it might be a reason for black on black violence as the black community was split in two.


The decision allowed African Americans who could to move on, and those who could not to form a new underclass.  The resulting Civil Rights movements (and the Republican Reformation that followed) were the results, even when Great Society social programs temporarily set up the possibility to counter this.  The 1980s ended that, so it should be no surprise that a harder-edged culture of music, clothing and school of thought would arise in the latter part of that decade, one that can be traced back to those left behind.  Washington’s story and his formation of The Crips as a surviving counter to The Black Panthers makes for interesting history indeed.


Robert Stack hosts the hour-long TV program tracing the early years of Washington’s life and the results all the way up to today that are still being felt for better or worse.  There is much more story to tell, but it is a good starting point for those who do not know any of this history and an interesting matter-of-fact show for those who are already interested and/or in the know.  The 1.33 X 1 image is NTSC analog videotape a generation or so down, as is the Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, which is barely stereo.  There are no extras.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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