Author Topic: Purpose of American Gangster  (Read 3744 times)

Offline TruthLies

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Purpose of American Gangster
« on: December 30, 2007, 09:26:19 am »


Can anyone explain to me the purpose of "American Gangster"?
Let me get my Uppity Negro on right quick

"Based on the show, what constitutes an "American Gangster"?  Is there a purpose or
intended audience for the program ?

I know real gangsters in the streets right now, are they eligible for having
their story aired and glorified and for the victims of their crimes can they have
the chance to relive the heinous acts ?

Seriously though, can someone break down the purpose of the show
 (Q3 Reps feel free to respond) First it was BEEF 1 2 3 Aired than
the well dried and it's "American Gangster"


Since this show is on the air, do you think BET would ever put a show
on emphasizing from "Nothing To Something", success from Black Men & Woman across
the country detailing their struggles while developing & day to day obstacles & how they acheived success ?
(Not no special either, a WEEKLY HOUR LENGTH PROGRAM)

I mean what's the worse that could happen, Young Black Youth could
actually be inspired and determined to find that way.



Offline Pantherfan

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2007, 10:21:00 am »
Damn! No one ask The History Channel or A&E what's the purpose of profiling Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Dutch Schultz, Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, but they do it anyway. Why? America is fascinated with outlaw culture. I know that the media has a poor track record in their portrayal of blacks, but America Gangster is more than that. It wasn't made to instill pride in Black Youth or glorify the crimes of these Gangsters. It's purpose is to tell the stories of these criminals and the circumstances that led to their lifestyle choices as well as the people and community they impacted and the outcome surrounding their actions.

So far American Gangster has accomplished that purpose on all fronts. It doesn't glorify nor offer an apology. It is what is.

Myself, I'm glad BET decided to do a show profiling black gangsters because that's a hidden history most Americans in the mainstream are unaware of, and some members of the black community are ashamed of acknowledging.

Offline TruthLies

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2007, 10:24:27 am »
Damn! No one ask The History Channel or A&E what's the purpose of profiling Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Dutch Schultz, Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, but they do it anyway. Why? America is fascinated with outlaw culture. I know that the media has a poor track record in their portrayal of blacks, but America Gangster is more than that. It wasn't made to instill pride in Black Youth or glorify the crimes of these Gangsters. It's purpose is to tell the stories of these criminals and the circumstances that led to their lifestyle choices as well as the people and community they impacted and the outcome surrounding their actions.

So far American Gangster has accomplished that purpose on all fronts. It doesn't glorify nor offer an apology. It is what is.

Myself, I'm glad BET decided to do a show profiling black gangsters because that's a hidden history most Americans in the mainstream are unaware of, and some members of the black community are ashamed of acknowledging.


I got to object on what's in bold & italics.  I don't think it's hidden at all, view crime rates in major cities
where majority of Blacks reside in and you will find plenty of Gangsters

that draws us back to my question "What constitutes an American Gangster"?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2007, 10:28:38 am by TruthLies »

Offline Pantherfan

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2007, 10:32:21 am »
Damn! No one ask The History Channel or A&E what's the purpose of profiling Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Dutch Schultz, Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, but they do it anyway. Why? America is fascinated with outlaw culture. I know that the media has a poor track record in their portrayal of blacks, but America Gangster is more than that. It wasn't made to instill pride in Black Youth or glorify the crimes of these Gangsters. It's purpose is to tell the stories of these criminals and the circumstances that led to their lifestyle choices as well as the people and community they impacted and the outcome surrounding their actions.

So far American Gangster has accomplished that purpose on all fronts. It doesn't glorify nor offer an apology. It is what is.

Myself, I'm glad BET decided to do a show profiling black gangsters because that's a hidden history most Americans in the mainstream are unaware of, and some members of the black community are ashamed of acknowledging.


I got to object on what's in bold & italics.  I don't think it's hidden at all, view crime rates in major cities
where majority of Blacks reside in and you will find plenty of Gangsters

that draws us back to my question "What constitues an American Gangster"?


My question to you is, "Have you ever watched the show?" When I was talking "hidden", I mean, not too many people knew who Nicky Barnes is or Frank Lucas, but ask people who John Gotti is or Al Capone and you'll get tons of answers. Now American Gangster's not going to highlight gangsters that are still active in the game, but the ones who left like Nicky Barnes and Frank Lucas they will do.

Your question of "what constitutes an American Gangster" is leaning towards an obvious answer.

Offline bluezulu

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2007, 10:37:37 am »
Good question Truth. Your show idea need a little bit more fleshing out to be entertaining, but I believe you already know the answer to your question. BET is black entertainment television, the purpose of American gangster is to entertain and America is in love with violence in all its forms love this show. Big hit on tv as well as itunes. It is a good show and it has a message when I watch it. Every last one of those profiled have a hard hard fall from grace. The rise to prominence fascinating. The power, money and fear mongering is crazy and the eventually fall is shameful. Now that is American television.

Offline bluezulu

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2007, 10:39:43 am »
An american gangster is as old as america it'self. What BET has craftily done is take a spin on narrating the true tales of American criminals and find a way to place a message in it. A active gangster will never be profiled well not willingly anyway.

Offline TruthLies

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2007, 10:40:38 am »
Damn! No one ask The History Channel or A&E what's the purpose of profiling Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Dutch Schultz, Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, but they do it anyway. Why? America is fascinated with outlaw culture. I know that the media has a poor track record in their portrayal of blacks, but America Gangster is more than that. It wasn't made to instill pride in Black Youth or glorify the crimes of these Gangsters. It's purpose is to tell the stories of these criminals and the circumstances that led to their lifestyle choices as well as the people and community they impacted and the outcome surrounding their actions.

So far American Gangster has accomplished that purpose on all fronts. It doesn't glorify nor offer an apology. It is what is.

Myself, I'm glad BET decided to do a show profiling black gangsters because that's a hidden history most Americans in the mainstream are unaware of, and some members of the black community are ashamed of acknowledging.


I got to object on what's in bold & italics.  I don't think it's hidden at all, view crime rates in major cities
where majority of Blacks reside in and you will find plenty of Gangsters

that draws us back to my question "What constitues an American Gangster"?


My question to you is, "Have you ever watched the show?" When I was talking "hidden", I mean, not too many people knew who Nicky Barnes is or Frank Lucas, but ask people who John Gotti is or Al Capone and you'll get tons of answers. Now American Gangster's not going to highlight gangsters that are still active in the game, but the ones who left like Nicky Barnes and Frank Lucas they will do.

Your question of "what constitutes an American Gangster" is leaning towards an obvious answer.

I've watched the show.  I've seen gangsters in reality as well.  When you said not too many people know who these
people  are,  are you a viewer expecting that these people should have a "Light Of Fame" for crazy acts against society ?
 Correct me if I took you wrong but from what I placed in bold, it's informative to know who these people are ? Criminals
to say the least, informative to BET Viewers who mostly consist of teenagers and young adults.


Do you consider Dick Cheney an "American Gangster"?

Offline Pantherfan

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2007, 11:07:00 am »
Damn! No one ask The History Channel or A&E what's the purpose of profiling Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Dutch Schultz, Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, but they do it anyway. Why? America is fascinated with outlaw culture. I know that the media has a poor track record in their portrayal of blacks, but America Gangster is more than that. It wasn't made to instill pride in Black Youth or glorify the crimes of these Gangsters. It's purpose is to tell the stories of these criminals and the circumstances that led to their lifestyle choices as well as the people and community they impacted and the outcome surrounding their actions.

So far American Gangster has accomplished that purpose on all fronts. It doesn't glorify nor offer an apology. It is what is.

Myself, I'm glad BET decided to do a show profiling black gangsters because that's a hidden history most Americans in the mainstream are unaware of, and some members of the black community are ashamed of acknowledging.


I got to object on what's in bold & italics.  I don't think it's hidden at all, view crime rates in major cities
where majority of Blacks reside in and you will find plenty of Gangsters

that draws us back to my question "What constitues an American Gangster"?


My question to you is, "Have you ever watched the show?" When I was talking "hidden", I mean, not too many people knew who Nicky Barnes is or Frank Lucas, but ask people who John Gotti is or Al Capone and you'll get tons of answers. Now American Gangster's not going to highlight gangsters that are still active in the game, but the ones who left like Nicky Barnes and Frank Lucas they will do.

Your question of "what constitutes an American Gangster" is leaning towards an obvious answer.

I've watched the show.  I've seen gangsters in reality as well.  When you said not too many people know who these
people  are,  are you a viewer expecting that these people should have a "Light Of Fame" for crazy acts against society ?
 Correct me if I took you wrong but from what I placed in bold, it's informative to know who these people are ? Criminals
to say the least, informative to BET Viewers who mostly consist of teenagers and young adults.


Do you consider Dick Cheney an "American Gangster"?



By the context of your posts, you made it clear that you have nothing but contempt and disdain for these usavory characters (like most people should), but should we sweep these people under the rug and disavow any knowledge of them for the sake of political correctness? Or should we just assume that the people profiled on American Gangster aren't worthy of the recognition that's usually reserved for other gangsters like Sam Giancana, Frank Nitti, Al Capone, John Gotti and so forth. Are these The American Gangsters you're comfortable with?

Until I see the outcry and furor over Al Capone and John Gotti on A&E and The History Channel I may be inclined to subscribe to your viewpoint, so I'll stick to my opinion that a show like American Gangster is a relevant program that deserves a place on Television.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 12:46:02 pm by Pantherfan »

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2007, 04:40:37 pm »
The purpose of American Gangster is to explore the mythology surrounding many of these figures and provide the sobering reality of their exploits.

I have lived in Brooklyn all my life and I heard of Fat Cat Nichols and Pappy Mason while I was a kid in the 80's. What was emphasized during that time by young adults about these 2 figures was their wealth and notoriety; the murder, drug addiction and carnage that were left in their wake was never mentioned. That is the essence of American Gangster in that it provides the entireity of the profiled criminals existence, their origins, highpoints and inevitable fall.

The irony is that in the aforementioned profiles of White gangsters on The History Channel, Biography Channel and others this conscientious dynamic is rarely approached. When they profile Capone, Luciano, Gotti etc. there is always an inclusion of elements of The Godfather, Goodfellas and The Untouchables which unapologetically maintains the mythology around them. Furthermore, I have never seen a program where they consistently interview either the victims or children/relatives of the gangsters criminality; and yet there has never been an episode of American Gangster where they have failed to do so.

Offline Mastrmynd

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2007, 04:46:23 pm »
dayam jefferson...
 it's cased closed after reading your statement.
good job.


Listen to my entertaining radio show, "The Takeover: Top 20 Countdown" at www.top20takeover.VVCRadio.com.

Right on to the real and death to the fakers!  Peace out!

Offline bluezulu

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2007, 07:29:45 pm »
Co-sign great job. Close lock thread. Next thread.

Offline Hulkster

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2008, 12:14:54 pm »
I've watched The History Channel's "Gangland".  They have spotlighted the various black, Hispanic, etc. gangs across the country all the way to modern day.  Folks should likewise ask them their purpose in airing this if the question is going to be asked at all.

Offline Hypestyle

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bring back American Gangster!
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2017, 04:42:53 am »
Bring back American Gangster!

Whether on BET, Centric, BounceTV, VH-1, TV One, another network, etc.

There's lots of stories about different figures that can get profiles.

Detroit stories could probably take up a season, lol..

http://www.bet.com/shows/american-gangster.html
Be Kind to Someone Today.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2017, 10:54:07 pm »
It was one of the shows I was proudest of during my time at BET.  I knew we needed a biography series but didn't just want to do celebs.  I thought this was a way to trick folks into looking at deeper issues and it worked.  It's still a beloved show, and it has been ripped off by other networks, but never as good as the original.

Offline Mastrmynd

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Re: Purpose of American Gangster
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2017, 10:29:06 am »
It was one of the shows I was proudest of during my time at BET.  I knew we needed a biography series but didn't just want to do celebs.  I thought this was a way to trick folks into looking at deeper issues and it worked.  It's still a beloved show, and it has been ripped off by other networks, but never as good as the original.

Quoted for truth


Listen to my entertaining radio show, "The Takeover: Top 20 Countdown" at www.top20takeover.VVCRadio.com.

Right on to the real and death to the fakers!  Peace out!