Omar Little, Jimmy McNulty, Stringer Bell, Snot Boogie. If you recognize these names, you are probably a fan of the HBO series The Wire.
This month marks 20 years since the series premiere. It ran for five seasons, following the lives of the cops, criminals, political players, and everyday folks caught up in Baltimore’s often futile war on drugs.
Many argue that The Wire is the best television show ever created and has earned praise for its realistic, humanizing, multi-dimensional portrayal of Black characters. But 20 years on, the conversation about policing in Black communities has changed. The deaths of Freddie Gray, George Floyd, and many others after encounters with police and the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement have brought about more public scrutiny, debate, and criticism of the police.
As social commentary, is The Wire still relevant? We speak with NPR TV critic Eric Deggans and Ronda Racha Penrice, editor of the essay collection, Cracking The Wire During Black Lives Matter.
In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.
Email us at email@example.com.