“Just Mercy” is a courtroom procedural drama adapted from the 2015 New York Times Bestseller of the same name. Written by Bryan Stevenson the original book was a memoir that told the story of his experience as an attorney focused on working to appeal death row convictions. Beginning in 1989, Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) is a new Harvard grad but instead of launching his career at a cushy law firm he chooses a different path. Heading south to Alabama, Stevenson establishes the Equal Justice Initiative and hangs out a shingle as a lawyer open to working on death row cases pro bono.
Tag: institutional racism
“Forty Million Dollar Slaves” by William C. Rhoden tells the history of Black athletes navigating the racist efforts to limit their participation in sports. Largely focused on athletes in America, the book begins in the 1700s and continues into the 2000s. Through the stories of various athletes, Rhoden presents his case for how organized Black athleticism as a means of control was first cultivated on plantations and shows how that mentality continues into the present.
I visited The Legacy Museum, if not the first week, then the second week that it opened. The Legacy Museum was created by the Equal Justice Initiative and is located in Montgomery, Alabama. It’s a few blocks away from The National Memorial for Peace and Justice about a 15-minute or so walk and obviously a shorter distance driving.
Phillip Dray details the history of mob violence and lynchings in At the Hands of Persons Unknown. Dray lays out how lynchings were used as a form of political terrorism aimed at subjugating Black people and enforcing white supremacy.
The 13th Amendment to The United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. It created a protected right for citizens to be free from bondage. But, a loophole allows suppression of this right for criminals who are being punished following a conviction. This 14-word phrase charted a path for the American prison-industrial complex. 13th, a documentary by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, explores the history of institutional racism through the lens of the 13th Amendment.