D'Angelo Barksdale
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D'Angelo Barksdale

The Wire

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About Him

Living… in Baltimore, working for the family business – his uncle Avon’s powerful drug organization. D’Angelo sometimes second-guesses whether he’s cut out for this particular line of work, but as his mother Brianna constantly reminds him, he has an obligation to the family. In his words, “All my people, man, my father, my uncles. It's just what we do. You just live with this until you can't breathe no more.”

Profession… mid-level drug dealer in the Barksdale organization. D’Angelo has a talent for moving weight, and eventually he is given control of an entire high-rise tower. One day, he makes a careless mistake that results in the death of an innocent bystander, and he lucks into getting off a murder charge. Avon demotes him to selling in the courtyard amongst the low-rise towers known as The Pit. There he runs a crew of young bucks – Wallace, Poot, and Bodie – and schools them on drug-selling strategies, minimizing risk, and the ways of the world.

Interests… D’Angelo has few vices, although he is constantly sipping on that ginger ale.

Relationship Status… mostly single. Relationships aren’t a priority for him right now. D’Angelo has a son, Tyrell, by his old girlfriend Donnette, and he briefly dates Shardene Innes, a dancer at Avon’s strip club. But he is something of a lone wolf, who needs space to brood.

Challenge… confronting the immorality of the drug trade – “the game.” D’Angelo was born into the game, but he is reluctant to comply with its rules. He tends to go easy on his subordinate dealers, and he struggles to come to terms with his passive role in the murders and beatings ordered by Avon and his right-hand man Stringer Bell. The game is ruthless, but there isn’t much ruthlessness in D’Angelo’s heart.

Personality… reflective and moody. One moment he’s carefree and relaxed, the next moment darkly cynical. “I want to start over,” he once says. “I just want to go somewhere, where I can breathe like regular folk.” That won’t be easy for him to do. There aren’t many plausible ways to leave the Barksdale drug organization besides prison or death – family or not.  

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