Robert F. Chew, who played Proposition Joe, died today in Baltimore. And just like on the show, his death was sudden and surprising. His cool, calm character was one of the many, many favorites I had on The Wire. This is thought of as one of the greatest showed every produced, and it is certainly in my top 3. When I first saw the show, I didn’t know what I was really watching. I thought a film crew just decided to set up shop in an open drug market as a documentary. The Wire gave us the most realistic view of modern, urban life in America and showed you just how integrated drugs and violence are in communities. The biggest lesson you can take from the show is that there are no real heroes 100% of the time and everyone is just trying to succeed at the job at hand. They say many of these young Black men that drop out of school to sell drugs aren’t smart, but I challenge any economist or business major from Harvard or Wall Street to master the intricacies of the open drug market and survive like these men and boys have. These are bright, ambitious minds and the challenge we have going forward is directing them to a greater path. Anyway, thank you Robert F. Chew for being a part of a program which opened the eyes of millions of Americans who only knew of urban violence from crime reports on the news.
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