Produced by Dmae Roberts
Other pieces by Dmae Roberts
Posted on July 25, 2004 at 10:34 AM
Dmae makes you feel like you have to get out there and start gathering up stories like lost pennies on the sidewalk. There’s much beauty and pathos here. Tea Cup explains a fistfight and Miracle describes the numbing thoughts that go through your head when lying with a john. In one of the piece’s best scenes, the girls take Dmae into a toilet stall to show her how Crystal Meth is packaged. The story of Miracle brings you a world of experience that doesn’t come along very often—with such directness and lack of editorializing—in other media. This is what journalism should aspire to. I’ll never eat a Little Debbie cake again without thinking of Miracle.
Posted on June 16, 2004 at 01:35 PM
Toward the end of the piece Miracle says "telling the truth will shame the devil" and that's what this piece does. Dmae Roberts pretty much shows you who's living on the streets, how they got there, how they are living on the streets,and how some are getting off of them. And In giving this demographic an identity it's no longer possible to write the homeless youth off as some statistic.
There's a moment when a homeless girl reveals that all she eats are Little Debbie Star Crunches because they cost only a quarter. Well when she says this you immediately get an idea of what her life is like. this little detail is a shortcut to a life that's lived moment to moment, a life that's lived in public spaces. And this piece is full of these kinds of details. Most of the people Roberts interviews are homeless because they are homosexual and have been estranged from their families. Most of these kids also use and sell Crystal Meth, which is understandable once you learn that it supresses at least two side effects of homelessness: being hungry and being cold.
Roberts does such a good job of narrating, she's right there, alongside these kids and it gives this piece a real sense of immediacy--and her subjects a sense of dignity.
This is worth broadcasting at anytime because it addresses so many relevant issues. But if you want some context you could air this on a youth-oriented show, on a show that focuses on homosexuality or a show about homelessness or additction.