Fans of “The Wire” have likely seen the show’s stars popping up all over the place.
Idris Elba stars in the BBC’s “Luther” and will appear in Ghost Rider and Thor sequels this year. Michael B. Jordan is set to appear as a teen with superpowers in Chronicle, and Tristan Wilds moved to “90210.”
However, at least one co-star from “The Wire” stayed close to Baltimore and is working to right some of the wrongs she witnessed while working in the city during the show’s five seasons.
“I had an extraordinary sense of purpose. My entire life had become about this,” said Sonja Sohn, also known as Det. Shakima “Kima” Greggs on the show.
After the series ended, Sonja decided to launch a program to help young people in Baltimore overcome the obstacles that were fodder for “The Wire.”
In 2009, she founded ReWired for Life, a life skills, violence prevention and self-esteem-building program that uses media, resource activities and the arts as tools for personal transformation, according to the non-profit organization’s website.
Sonja wasn’t raised in the crime-ridden area of Baltimore where the series was filmed, but her hometown of Newport News, VA, wasn’t much different. Like the kids depicted on the show, she also had a tough upbringing.
"The show actually provided a tool for my own personal transformation, giving me a structure at which to look at my own behavior and investigate my own trauma," she told the Baltimore Sun.
She was raised in the projects, witnessed domestic abuse in her household and was molested by an older girl who served as her babysitter, according to The Washington Post.
So, Sonja can relate to the children she helps.
“We are talking about a throwaway population that adults think are too far gone. We’re talking about kids that people have given up on over and over and over again. They don’t feel like anyone is there for them,” she told The Post.
While it might not make sense to many that a successful actress would choose a life of servitude over the glitz and glam of Hollywood life, Sonja—like her resourceful character on “The Wire”—plays by her own rules.
“A lot of the way I live my life has nothing to do with logic,” she said.
Get more on ReWired here.
—Tracy L. Scott