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Black Men Speak Podcast

Mar 5, 2024

Today's episode is about When Crack Was King with author Donovan X. Ramsey. It's a book about the crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s. It is arguably the least examined crisis in American history and how it impacted the lives of four individuals, Elgin Swift, son of a crack-addicted father who turned their home into a “crack house”; Lennie Woodley, a former crack addict, and a sex worker; Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore and an early advocate of decriminalization; and lastly, Shawn McCray, community activist, basketball prodigy, and a founding member of the Zoo Crew, Newark's most legendary group of drug traffickers. Donovan X. Ramsey is a journalist, author, and an indispensable voice on issues of identity, justice, and patterns of power in America. Ramsey’s writing career has been focused entirely on amplifying the remarkable unheard stories of Black America. He believes in people-first narratives that center individuals and communities—not just issues.