This weekend Speech Thomas flew into town for the incredible premiere of his film, 16 Bars. 16 Bars is a film directed by Sam Bathrick and featuring Speech of Arrested Development. It’s a documentary about his experience after partnering with many amazing people and organizations to make difference on inmate program participants.
Milwaukee Native, Speech Thomas, has always had a passion for community in many ways. Although raised in Milwaukee, he left the city with great intentions in mind. His goal was to stand for something no matter what. He truly has a heart for his community.
The 16 Bars premiere was a phenomenal film all away around. I loved the deep stories of felons and how hard it is to stay out. Each and every person in the film had touching stories. It was even insightful to know that the majority of men locked up are locked up for nonviolent crimes. Most were in there trying to recover from drug charges.
16 Bars was an epic project that was so necessary in our society. After viewing the screening, I personally feel so many people need to see this film. The raw footage of families and inner fights painted a picture that the world needs to see.
The struggle, in its truest and rawest form. Broken families, hearts, and homes flood the streets of our city. Yet, Speech is completely determined to make a change. He has high hopes for all attendees.
He begins to understand and gain personal relationships with each inmate that he worked with. Because of those built relationships, they begin to believe in themselves. They see that they’re not just being treated like trash. They’re being treated like humans and that means everything to them.
This great work deserves so much attention and support. The film honestly has made a huge impact on me and the passion I have for my community. It sparked so many ideas that we, as a community should do more of.
So many of us live in our cities without pushing for a better community. A better environment doesn’t have to be perfect. There just has to be a culture of love for others.
Speech, what you have done with this 16 Bars project is so powerful. I’m blessed to have met such an incredible leader, with such a grand mission. Continue to shine as bright as you do and thank you for sharing your experience to the world.