John Singleton, Snowfall, Crack Cocaine, Drug War, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

How The ’80s Crack Cocaine “Epidemic” Really Started | Refinery29 Around 30 years ago, the U.S. saw a rise in the use of crack cocaine that was termed the "crack epidemic." Now, FX's new show Snowfall is bringing this period of time and all of its complex issues back to the front of our consciousness — at a time when our country is in the midst of yet another drug crisis.



We know that there was a surge in the use of crack, a form of cocaine that is smoked rather than snorted, in the ’80s primarily in areas of L.A., NYC, and Miami. But the true story is much more complicated than that. And the media helped fuel this into a full-blown national moral panic. However, this was all happening at a time when the budgets for many social programs (including those relating to food stamps and job training) had taken serious cuts. That means those most vulnerable to the rise in drug use were given less help to address those effects, leaving the rest of us with some deeply damaging prejudices towards these already marginalized communities.

John Singleton, Snowfall, Crack Cocaine, Drug War, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Matthias Clamer/FX

John Singleton, Snowfall, Crack Cocaine, Drug War, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Matthias Clamer/FX

John Singleton, Snowfall, Crack Cocaine, Drug War, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Matthias Clamer/FX


John Daniel Singleton (born January 6, 1968) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer best known for directing Boyz n the Hood (1991). For the film, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, becoming the first African American and youngest person to have ever been nominated for the award. Singleton is a native of South Los Angeles and many of his early films, such as Poetic Justice (1993), Higher Learning (1995), and Baby Boy (2001), consider the implications of inner-city violence.[citation needed] Some of his other films include dramas such as Rosewood (1997) in addition to action films such as Shaft (2000), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), and Four Brothers (2005). (Wikipedia).