What You Need To Know: 

“Just Mercy” tells the true story of Walter McMillian, who with the help of defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, appeals his murder conviction. The film is based on the memoir of Stevenson. A powerful and thought-provoking true story, “Just Mercy” follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson, played by Michael B. Jordan, and his history-making battle for justice.

 

After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation. One of his first, and most incendiary cases is that of Walter McMillian, played by Jamie Foxx, who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds-and the system-stacked against them.

 

Why You Need To Know:

For one, we need to support the work of our Black actors, especially when they are a part of telling a story that inspires, educates, informs, and gives an infuriating view of the (in)justice system that has been and is too often woven into the very fabric of our country.

Just Mercy, Stevenson, and McMillian’s stories remind us of the challenges we face and have overcome and will continue to overcome through courageous, intelligent, effective action. Let us never forget the struggle and how to counter opposition and oppression.

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