Can someone help me with a summary and review of the book Cocaine Politics, and the Movie Superfly? Due to religious beliefs I am unable to watch these movies and read this book, don't know why...

Can someone help me with a summary and review of the book Cocaine Politics, and the Movie Superfly? Due to religious beliefs I am unable to watch these movies and read this book, don't know why but hope some one can help.

Expert Answers
durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It may be that you are not able to read Cocaine Politics or watch Superfly due to their controversial content and potential to be misunderstood. Both explore very real issues in terms of race and drugs, access to drugs, corruption and how some have benefited in one form or another- obviously at the expense of others- from drugs. In Superfly, stereotypes are potentially offensive and the movie glorifies the use of violence and typifies the behavior of its African American stars. The intention was to attract the attention of a black audience, not because they are all drug dealers but because they understand the damaging influence of drugs and work to protect their children from them. Instead, it serves to stir emotions as it seems as if a successful African Americanwill find success through the drug trade and no other more decent, respectable means. In attempting to thwart the establishment, the hero succeeds in spite of himself and frees himself from drugs. The cost to others, however, is barely a consideration and making money for himself is Youngblood Priest's main obsession. 

Superfly lacks depth of character but was a success because, when it was made it, and others like it, were the only movies representing a mainly African American cast. As long as the movies existed, the directors did not necessarily, see the need to make the characters whole or well-rounded. The women are also represented as sexual beings, again without the depth of character that they deserve.

In summarizing Superfly, Priest, is a cocaine dealer from Harlem. He wants to free himself and his friends from the "business" but his methods of doing so mean he will use drugs to make copious amounts of money which will allow him to retire. The police do not constitute enough of a threat to worry him as they are mainly corrupt and want $10 000 a month to look the other way. He may not like the idea but he acquiesces. The police contribute to the death of one of Priest's friends and he overdoses. Violence is a way to collect "debts' and friends report each other to the police in order to further their own ends. Priest uses his girlfriend to help him and she manages to get away with their share of the money and the police are unaware. Priest is then able to get away without further threat. 

Cocaine Politics also refers to police involvement in the drug world and the ever-controversial CIA. Its authors maintain that the so-called "war on drugs" is a facade and nothing more than a pretense. The authors claim that the American efforts to fight against drugs is actually fueling the trade and that the government is more interested in stopping Communism from sweeping through the world rather than in fighting drugs. The justification is that, to protect Americans, the CIA must maintain covert operations which they do in the interests of national security, even if it sacrifices efforts to control drugs in Latin America. 

It has been suggested that the stories are one-sided and contrived and while there may be a proliferation of information, the information has not been analysed for its usefulness and there is a distinct lack of suggestions that will overcome the problems that the book presents. There is also, despite the large number of sources, resources and thus characters, not much follow-up or information on the many people introduced.  The book uses as its foundation the considered real issues from the 1986 to 1988 investigations of Senator John Kerry and his "Kerry report."