Michael B. Jordan advised the lads referred to as the Central Park 5 on Friday that he can not watch footage of the brand new sequence ‘When They See Us’ with out getting emotional and feeling like as a younger black man he too may have confronted an identical ordeal.
“It’s dangerous in America when you’re living in a black body,” Jordan mentioned.
Jordan praised the lads — Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Korey Sensible — for his or her perseverance and braveness throughout a luncheon during which the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California honored Netflix’s sequence about their case.
“The whole time that these men were incarcerated, they never changed their story,” he mentioned. “They insisted of their innocence even as they did their time.”
Salaam cried as he accepted an award on behalf of sequence creator Ava DuVernay.
“I’m not ashamed to cry in front of you,” Salaam mentioned after a second of silence as he mirrored on how he and the opposite males have been “just boys” between the ages of 13 and 16 years previous after they have been wrongfully convicted.
“Our story is a story of an egregious miscarriage of justice,” he added.
Jordan hugged Salaam, who additionally spoke on behalf of the 5 males.
“That’s courage,” mentioned Jordan, whose performances have ranged from his acclaimed portrayal of a younger black man killed by a police officer in Fruitvale Station to the vengeful Erik Killmonger in Black Panther.
Salaam and the remainder of the Central Park 5 have been exonerated in 2002 after being charged with the 1989 rape of a white lady in New York’s Central Park. They obtained a standing ovation whereas accepting the ACLU chapter’s inaugural Roger Baldwin Braveness Award. Baldwin was one of many ACLU’s founders and its first govt director.
‘When They See Us’ isn’t Hollywood’s first try to recount the story of the Central Park 5’s wrongful conviction, however it has sparked a renewed curiosity within the particulars of the case.
Hector Villagra, govt director of the ACLU of Southern California, mentioned DuVernay refocused the narrative on the humanity of the 5 males and it has shone a brand new mild on a broadly recognized case 30 years later.
The sequence has re-ignited outcry about how the case was dealt with. Linda Fairstein, the Manhattan intercourse crimes prosecutor who noticed the youngsters’ interrogation, has confronted backlash for her position of their conviction. Fairstein has already resigned from not less than two nonprofit boards as backlash intensified and a #CancelLindaFairstein motion unfold on social media.
Shortly earlier than the lads accepted their award, Fairstein was dropped by her e-book writer within the face of the rising criticism. Villagra mentioned that he thinks it’s truthful that Fairstein be judged for her actions, even many years later.
“It’s in many ways justice delayed,” Villagra mentioned.