Cle Sloan’s documentary, Bastards of the Party, tackles the difficult and complex history of black gangs in Los Angeles and across the country. The title itself, taken from Mike Davis’s book City of Quartz, speaks to the complicated journey gang culture has been on since its origins in the 1960s.
The documentary dives into the reality that gang formation was influenced both by an African-American migration to cities and by a lack of support from government-run institutions like law enforcement. During his tenure as Chief of Police from 1950 to 1966, Robert Parker increased recruitment of white officers who brought with them their own racist ideologies that have had a lasting effect on law enforcement’s relationship with African Americans.
The documentary also examines how modern day gangs were formed out of groups like the Black Panthers and United Slaves Organization in the mid-1960s, and explores how these organizations have evolved over time. It sheds light on how current gang culture is shaped by economics, racism, segregation, and government policy. Sloan hopes that this film will provoke meaningful dialogue around these issues and inspire people to work toward positive change in our communities.
For those looking for an insightful and comprehensive look into urban violence and gang culture in America today, Bastards of the Party is sure to captivate viewers of all backgrounds. Cle Sloan has achieved a remarkable feat in providing an unvarnished portrayal of a world many are unfamiliar with while continuing to urge for reform within it.