In 1969, journalist and mother, Falaka Fattah started receiving letters from people across the country about children killing each other in Philadelphia. Her husband, David Fattah, a community organizer investigated the issue and made a shocking discovery. Falaka’s 16-year old son was a leader in the gang. With gang violence escalating and no other viable solutions available, Falaka took the situation into her own hands. She convinced David to let the gang move into their home. In the ensuing years, the Fattahs worked with over 105 gangs, and over 3000 boys eradicating almost all of the gangs in Philadelphia. As gun violence spurs in Philadelphia, Falaka Fattah, now 88 years old, urges today’s leaders to revisit the strategy that worked for the House of Umoja in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s and use it as the foundation for a new approach to address the violence that is devastating Philadelphia communities today.
Present day. Falaka Fattah, 88, speaks with activists and organizers who visit her home to get advice on how best to address the rampant violence against youth in the city of Philadelphia. Falaka holds conversations with various community members from her bed where she spends most of her days. Her husband, David Fattah died in December 2018. Falaka calls on former gang members to help her with errands, review documents, and execute the efforts she organizes.
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