Breaking Green

Cold War Testing on African American Population in St. Louis with Filmmaker Damien D. Smith

October 05, 2022 Global Justice Ecology Project / Host Steve Taylor Season 2 Episode 9
Breaking Green
Cold War Testing on African American Population in St. Louis with Filmmaker Damien D. Smith
Show Notes Chapter Markers

During the cold war, the united states military conducted covert weapons development testing in what the Army identified as a "densely populated slum district". The spraying of zinc cadmium sulfide along with what evidence suggests was a radiative substance centered on a region that included the Pruitt Igoe housing complex. The film Target St. Louis, which has won the Urban World Best Documentary award in New York was directed by actor and film maker Damien D. Smith. On this episode of Breaking Green we will talk to Damien, about the film, the research it is based on and the importance of film in shinning a light on such a difficult subject.

 Damien was born in St. Louis and now lives as an actor, screen writer and prodcer in Los Angeles. Smith’s stage and television credits include the NAACP Theater Award-winning production of “12×9,” and most recently the television series “Snowfall” on Fx Networks  and “The Purge”on USA networks.  His directorial debut short narrative film entitled ABOUT THAT…, a powerful look at love through the eyes of a mentally disturbed young man won the Arts with Impact film Award. Smith’s last short film Daddy’s Big Girl won the Gentleman Jack Daniel’s Reel to Real Filmmaker of the Year Award.

This podcast is produced by Global Justice Ecology Project.

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Target St. Louis Vol 1 Trailer

Damien Smith IMDb

IPA press release on St. Louis weapons test

Behind the Fog book by Dr. Lisa Martino-Taylor

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Disclosure:  Steve Taylor is married to the author of Behind the Fog.


Breaking Green Introduction
Episode Introduction
Damien Smith Bio
Damien Smith's Career as Screenwriter and Actor
Target St. Louis Trailer
Covert Cold War Testing on African Americans
Putting Faces to the Tragedy
Takeaways from Making the Film - It's a Cold Game
Validation for those Exploited
Stranger than Fiction
Smith's Grandmother
Premeditated Exploitation
Ben Phillips and Litigation
Goal of the Film
How to Follow Damien and the Film
Reception to the Film - James Baldwin Park Showing
Historical Consciousness
James Baldwin