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What 2021 meant for justice with civil rights leaders Rev. Al Sharpton and Ben Crump

2021 brought highs and lows in racial justice. On Into America, two leading civil rights leaders share their thoughts on justice in 2021 and the beyond.

About this episode:

Looking back on 2021, it felt like maybe Black Americans got closer to knowing justice. In April, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd. And the day before Thanksgiving, three white men were found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery.

But 2021 wasn’t all about victories.

Last month, a jury in Wisconsin cleared Kyle Rittenhouse of multiple homicide charges after he shot and killed two people at a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020. Rittenhouse, who says he brought a semi-automatic rifle to the protest to “protect property,” successfully argued that he fired his weapon in self-defense.

On this episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee is joined by two of today’s most prominent civil rights leaders to explore whether Black people in this country can ever experience true justice.

Reverend Al Sharpton, the founder of the National Action Network and host on MSNBC, says while there were setbacks, there was plenty to celebrate in 2021. “I think that we ought to mark those victories we get, so people will know we're not fighting alone.”

Attorney Ben Crump, who represented both families of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd this year, agrees. “We're continuously on this journey. We take sometimes some steps forward and then there are going to be steps back.” But the guilty verdicts this year, he says, "give us hope for America.”

Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com.

Find the transcript here.

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