Before 1970s gang film, “The Lords of Flatbush,” “The Warriors” and “The Wanders,” there was “The Education of Sonny Carson.” This gritty, authentic film not only served as a blueprint for later 1970s film, but also in later films like “Boyz ‘N the Hood” two decades later.
Based on the best-selling autobiography by Carson, the film tells the story of an OG who gets sucked into the gang life and finds himself locked down. It was there that Carson turned his life around and his back on his former life of crime. Brilliantly portrayed by Rony Clanton, Carson is a street-smart, highly intelligent young man who simply finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Some of the battle scenes between the Lords and Hawks are some of the most violent scenes ever depicted on film. While largely forgotten, the film has recently be restored on DVD and we suggest that this film is worth another look. The film also co-starred Mary Alice (“The Matrix Revolution”) and Paul Benjamin (“Do The Right Thing”). While the real Sonny Carson has passed on, his cautionary tale about life in the gang will continue to resonate for those willing to invest the time in checking out this Black Film Classic.