Last Thursday night, FM hiked over to Science Center D to listen to a stick-up boy, a lesbian cop, and a stool pigeon junkie lead a discussion on the inner city before a crowd of Harvard students.
At least, these three characters portrayed by Michael K. Williams, Sonja Sohn, and Andre Royo in HBO’s “The Wire” were so compelling that the African and African American Studies Department invited the actors to discuss the show’s alarming depiction of inner-city Baltimore.
FM was lucky enough to nab a ticket and breeze by the large crowd of poor souls waiting outside, hoping for the slight possibility of available seats. Inside, the lecture hall was abuzz with devoted fans. FM even got to hear a marriage proposal, shouted from the depths of the audience to Sonja Sohn.
But the panel soon turned to issues weightier than professions of celebrity crushes as cast members described the people whom they met while researching their roles. “I met a lot of people who felt like they weren’t relevant anymore because they don’t make a certain amount,” said Andre Royo. “They had a little addiction, but they wanted to be good people. That is what I focused on with [character] Bubbles.”
And just as FM was wondering how community service would fit into our jam-packed schedules, Sonja Sohn shot down all our excuses and offered a way to combat the problem at its roots. “Yeah, you got a research paper, yeah you got a boyfriend or a girlfriend, but you could spend a couple of hours a week mentoring a kid,” said Sohn.
Although FM originally attended to gloat about yet another celeb on our star-ridden campus, the discussion proved to be inspirational—and not just because emminent Professor Evelyn B. Higginbotham condoned all of our HBO watching as an “educational tool.”