By Charlene Muhammad
The film “Kill the Messenger” rekindled interest and outrage over CIA ties to drug trafficking and the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic that devastated neighborhoods, destroyed families and led to the imprisonment of thousands from Black communities across America.
The movie highlights the work, honor and the demise of journalist Gary Webb for his investigation into CIA-connected drug peddling, and the movie release Oct. 10 again raised the important question: How is Black America faring in “post-crack” years?
Not too well, according to activists, political scientists, gang interventionists, and legal experts.
“As far as I’m concerned … looking at the research, looking at what I see in front of me in terms of our community, really, it had a greater impact on certain aspects of our community as Black folks, and in terms of rooting at this fabric of the Black community than enslavement did,” said human rights attorney Nana Gyamfi.
Before crack cocaine, Blacks identified themselves as a people tied together, whether they were in Brazil, America, Jamaica, or Haiti, the activist argued. Blacks were clearer on who they were, and who their torturers, tormentors, and rapists were. But today, Blacks are disunited and don’t trust one another in this so-called post-crack era, she said.
“All of us live in these fake little prisons, or many of us do, where we’ve got bars all over our windows. We’re behind gates. We’ve got barred doors. We’ve got all of this that we didn’t have before that, before people started breaking into people’s houses, trying to get whatever they could so they could get some drugs,” Atty. Gyamfi continued.