BET Documents "American Gangsters" In New Series
Narrated by acclaimed actor Ving Rhames, the show will begin airing on November 28 at 10 p.m. EST and will outline the lives and exploits of many of the crime figures who have found a place in street folklore including recently executed Crip founder Stanley "Tookie" Williams, "Freeway Ricky" Ross, Lorenzo "Fat Cat" Nichols and Leroy "Nicky" Barnes, among others. The show's primary objective will be to both examine the personalities behind these notorious figures as well as gauge their lasting impact on the communities in which they made their names known.
"I was born and raised in Harlem. I grew up around a lot of criminals, thugs, dope dealers gangbangers, whatever you want to call it. What I like about American Gangster is it reveals the true side and future of this sort of lifestyle if one chooses to go down that road," said Rhames. "One of the things that we have in our show is basically that with 'hood gangster,' 'hood legend' or what have you, something turns out negative. Whenever you do something that is destructive to your community, to your people, to mankind, it will come back on you and you eventually wind up destroying yourself."
The six-part series will utilize archival footage, photographs and interviews with people familiar with the various cases including ex-members of various criminal organizations, police officials from the time period and attorneys that represented the criminals involved to profile the subjects each week.
"Crime is a cancer that eats away at our communities," said Reginald Hudlin, BET President of Entertainment. "But for a generation that grew up thinking greed is good, whether on Wall Street or Martin Luther King Boulevard , they're not quite so sure whether crime pays or not. We wanted to take an honest look at the criminal life, demystify that world and show what it does to our community."
"AMERICAN GANGSTER" premieres on Tuesday, November 28 at 10 p.m. ET/PT with encore episodes on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.