IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The Syllabus: What you need to know for the June 23 'MHP'

What does it mean to be a black man in America in the year 2013?
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

What does it mean to be a black man in America in the year 2013? Does the election of a black president mean all racial barriers and inequalities have disintegrated? OK–no. Of course not. But it gets more complicated from there. While high school graduation rates for black men are up, so too are incarceration rates. Unemployment rates are coming down nationwide–now at 7.6%--but for young black men, hover at about 30%. There is a legacy from slavery to Jim Crow to today’s incarceration nation that forms the thesis of this week’s Newsweek cover story "The Fight for Black Men." The author of that article, along with an incredible panel of African-American men appear in studio with host Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday morning.

Our show will head back to Raleigh, N.C., bringing you the latest on Moral Mondays. This week our focus will shift to the Civitas Institute. Turns out Civitas, a conservative think tank led by millionaire Art Pope, has created a database of the protesters who have been arrested. The database includes personal details such as the protester’s employer, race, and interest group affiliation. Civitas has even gone so far as to create a guessing game called "Pick the Protester."

Join us as Harris-Perry and our panel break down what the American Medical Association’s move to officially classify obesity as a disease really means. The ruling holds no legal weight officially, but could be a step in the right direction when it comes to prioritizing preventative care in America. More than a third of Americans officially qualify as obese. What does it mean that the AMA now says all those people have a disease?

On March 18, 1963, the Supreme Court–led by Chief Justice Earl Warren–ruled on the case Gideon v. Wainwright making it a law that all criminal defendants have the right to a court appointed lawyer. Being a defense attorney is often viewed as a thankless and morally objectionable job but a new HBO documentary, "Gideon’s Army," follows a group of defense attorneys to better understand their profession. On Sunday, Harris-Perry will sit down with the film’s director, and two of the defense attorneys featured in the movie to find out why these individuals choose to do what they do despite the low pay, their controversial clients, and the frustrating realities of a broken criminal justice system.

Of course, make sure you stay tuned to check out this week’s "Wow, Seriously?"

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday at 10 a.m. EST on msnbc! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.