On the Frontline: Taking Back Our Streets | Chicago Reader

On the Frontline: Taking Back Our Streets

For a white person like me, living in a tranquil middle-class suburb, this urgent and profoundly depressing documentary by local filmmaker Derek Grace feels uncomfortably like eavesdropping on a private conversation, and it's not an easy one to decode or process. Half of his solutions to the problems of gun violence and black-on-black depredation would warm the heart of Glenn Beck; absentee fathers and bad parenting come in for a ritual drubbing, but so do violent video games, consumerism, hip-hop videos, Black Entertainment Television, and the dearth of creative programs for children. What comes through loud and clear is Grace's conviction that gangs are a symptom and not a cause of social decay, and that they're not going away until young black men are given a meaningful economic alternative.

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