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On Leaving The Ghetto
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Washington, D.C.
Author: McBride, James
Date: Jun 16, 1987
Start Page: f.03
Section: STYLE

For the most part, the film manages to lift the rug up to explore the touchy, painful aspects of the middle-class black conflict-leaving the ghetto, but never leaving it-without insulting anyone. At Trinity, parishioners who teach African history in Bible class and wear African garb are torn by their consciences-of what to do about those they left behind. At Purchased, single mothers express in candid, touching terms the need to teach disenfranchised young people the most elemental things about raising a family: how to be a mother, what a father should do.

The similarities between the two churches and ministers are closer than one might imagine, although Trinity and its well-spoken Rev. Jeremiah Wright seem to be everywhere, while Purchased Church flits in and out of the film like a bad conscience. Perhaps this is intentional. The parishioners of Trinity are not that far removed financially from their less fortunate brethren, yet they are driven toward activism and responsibility for the poor.

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