‘Snowfall’ on FX Explores the Cocaine Epidemic of the 1980s

‘Snowfall’ on FX Explores the Cocaine Epidemic of the 1980s


Snowfall“Snowfall” is an FX docudrama exposes how crack-cocaine became rampant in the inner-city neighborhoods of Los Angeles in the 1980s. The program demonstrates how the crack epidemic destroyed African-American households.

The “Snowfall” storyline, which premiered on July 5, 2017, focuses on the collision course between the lives of a young street-minded man, the daughter of a crime lord, and a CIA operative.

Producer and series creator, John Singleton, has done similar projects such as “Boyz N the Hood” movie. Some of the characters in “Snowfall” are based on people he actually knew.

For example, Singleton worked in a video store with two argumentative Israeli brothers. He thought they were selling more than videos. They are represented in the storyline. Also, the “Snowfall” character, Gustave Zapata, is based on a wrestler he watched as a teen.

Singleton stated: “It took years for “Snowfall’ to see an actual premiere date. Showtime had picked the show up in 2014 but later dropped it and the pilot aired on FX.” Now, the television series airs Wednesdays on FX at 10 p.m. ET.

In the “Snowfall’ series, Franklin Saint is a young African-American man who works in a bodega and attends school in an upper-class neighborhood. He also sells weed for his uncle Jerome. Soon, Franklin is peddling crack throughout the streets for an Israeli kingpin.

Lucia, the daughter of a crime lord, wants her own empire. In that pursuit, she uses a Mexican wrestler as her muscle.

Teddy, a CIA operative that begins an off-book operation with the Nicaraguan rebel group named the Contras. The CIA used the sale of cocaine to help finance the war against the Sandinista government.

Amin Joseph, who portrays Jerome stated, “It’s a period piece and it kind of deals with a part of history that was swept under the rug.”

Before coming to the United States, Damson Idris, who plays the role of Franklin Saint, lived in London. Idris had not heard about the crack epidemic in American neighborhoods.

He said: “Not only does it speak out to older generations who may have survived or lived through it but it may speak to a new generation who may not be as informed. It’s going to teach people about the past.”

Written by Nicole Thompson


NPR: ‘Snowfall’: FX’s New Drama About The Crack Epidemic In Los Angeles
EBONY: Amin Joseph Talks ‘Snowfall,’ Reflecting On the ’80s & The State Of Black Entertainment
ABC News: New series ‘Snowfall’ tells birth of cocaine in Los Angeles

Featured Image and Top Courtesy of Canadian Film Centre’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons Licensed