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Source:  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Todd “Speech” Thomas lives a blessed life as the leader of pioneering, socially conscious hip-hop group Arrested Development. But coming of age in Milwaukee, his life could have taken a different path.

“A lot of my friends were either murdered, committed suicide or were imprisoned,” Thomas told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. His son Bakari, 21, was in prison for three years. So were three of Bakari’s friends.

Concerns about prison reform led Thomas last year to Richmond, Virginia, where he helped prisoners put their pain and heart into music as part of an innovative rehabilitation program.

The experience was captured in the new documentary, “16 Bars,” showing at this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival.

Read the story at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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