‘Survival of the fittest’: RT explores distressed black neighborhoods doomed to crime and decay

run down basketball court

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While segregation is an illegal thing of the past, in many US urban areas communities where black people live are reminiscent of a “jungle” where residents survive surrounded by murder, drugs and overwhelming poverty.

RT documentary ‘Black Lives’ went to Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia to talk to the locals who share their stories of living in a deprived area.

“You’ve got to survive. It is a jungle. You gonna act like a lion amongst other lions, like a beast amongst other beasts. It is survival of the fittest at its rawest form,” says David Manigault, director, filmmaker and east Baltimore native. He says people in the area can’t get a job and thus end up selling drugs while no one can feel safe on the streets. “A lot of my friends lost their lives in this neighborhood,” Manigault says.

Such communities may be just a couple miles away from more wealthy areas where children get anything they want – school programs, computer labs, football teams. A kid living in a poorer district may go to sleep without heat. For children growing up in these areas becoming a drug dealer may be as appealing as becoming an NBA star.

“That’s not a two miles difference, that’s a two million miles difference,” Maj Toure, founder of the ‘Black guns matter’ movement says speaking about the disparities between the urban communities in Pennsylvania.

Watch the episode ‘Truth’ of  the ‘Black Lives’ documentary.