“Ghetto 101” originated when Mr. Isay was hired at WBEZ radio, NPR’s Chicago affiliate, to contribute to a series of broadcasts inspired by Alex Kotlowitz’s book “There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America” (1991).
Michael Newman said that Lloyd had responded to a leaflet distributed by Mr. Isay seeking boots-on-the-ground reporters. Lloyd, he said, “thought that it would be fun and something different to do.”
Mr. Kotlowitz said in an email that the project had imbued Mr. Newman with a quiet confidence and gave him a job that fit his character, as an “understated yet fiercely powerful storyteller who so relished making individual connections often with people whose lives so differed from his own.”
“He was such a generous spirit and such a thoughtful soul,” Mr. Kotlowitz added. “I don’t know if he fully grasped the impact his storytelling had on others, but it inspired so many and challenged them in ways that brought us all closer.”
Both youths understood the challenges they faced in the other America, the one outside the ghetto.
“If we go in the store, we’re looked at wrong, as if we was going to steal,” Mr. Newman told Charlie Rose on PBS in 1997. “We’re not trusted, and most people feel that way.”
By his own reckoning, Lloyd Newman might not have expected to die of natural causes. In 1997, enumerating the most common causes of death in the projects, he told The Times: “People get thrown out of windows, drowned, stabbed, shot. But a lot of that killing would stop if the government would make it livable around here. We don’t have no parks. The swings are broken. There’s nothing for people to do. There’s no fun. Life isn’t worth living without some fun.”
In the documentary “Remorse,” Mr. Newman and Mr. Jones stood on the roof of the public housing building from which 5-year-old Eric Morse had been dropped from a 14th-floor window by two other young kids, or “shorties,” in the parlance of the streets. Looking over the edge, Mr. Jones asked Mr. Newman what would have gone through his mind if it was he who had been plunging to the ground.