During the festering summer of 1991, racial tensions between the African-American and Hasidic communities of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, reached a boiling point when a Jewish man accidentally struck and killed a black child while driving his car. The explosive riots that followed culminated with the stabbing death of a rabbinical student by a black teenager and elevated the already wounded community to an almost unbearable level of grief and anger. Showtime's original film CROWN HEIGHTS plays out against this historical background with a fictionalized story of two alliances--one between a Hasidic rabbi (Howie Mandel) and an African-American community leader (Mario Van Peebles); the other between black and Jewish teenagers with a mutual love for hip-hop music--that attempt to heal the neighborhood's widening racial divide with mutual respect and understanding.
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