Since May 25th 2020, America has been reeling from the shock of that initial violent act and the anguish that sent thousands into the streets in protest across the country.
And when those guilty verdicts were delivered, some were brought to tears that a black family had finally tasted something close to justice. But one verdict does little to untether America from its roots, some four hundred years deep and growing.
Have the past year of protests and the push for reform bent America any closer toward justice for all? Or does justice remain a dream deferred for black America?
I set out to answer those questions in a series of conversations with thinkers, doers, activists and policymakers who know intimately where we’ve been and perhaps where we’re headed. Panelists include:
- Jelani Cobb, staff writer at The New Yorker and NBC News contributor
- Anna Deavere Smith, an actress, professor, and playwright who created a Tony nominated one woman show about the 1992 Los Angeles riots
- Representative Mondaire Jones, freshman Democratic Congressman who represents New York's 17th Congressional District
- Carmen Best, former Seattle police chief and NBC News law enforcement analyst
- Marlon Petersen, host of the Decarcerated podcast and author of Bird Uncaged and Abolitionist Freedom Song
- Trayvon Free, writer, director and comedian
- Lee Merritt, civil rights attorney
- Dr. Sandy Darity, the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor at Duke University
- Amanda Seales, comedian and creator of Smart, Funny and Black
- Martin Luther King II, the eldest son of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a human and civil rights advocate
We hope you enjoy these conversations from Trymaine Lee’s NBC News Now special Can You Hear Us Now? One Year Later.
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Find the transcript here.