A ‘Quest for Justice’ for a Murdered Civil Rights Pioneer, 52 Years Later

“She spent her whole life fighting for others. It’s time somebody started fighting for her.”

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Quote: One Strike Left…

“We taught the Negros how to use that voting machine.[…] When I got back home [from law school] a lot of people said, ‘You’ve got two strikes against you: You’re a woman and you’re a Negro.’  Yeah, but I’ve still got one strike left, and I’ve seen people get home runs when all they’ve got left is one strike.’’

~ Alberta Jones {told The Courier-Journal in March 1965, shortly after she became a city prosecutor, the first African-American and first woman of any race in that job in Louisville, KY.}

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We Need to Talk About An Injustice

“I believe the opposite of poverty is justice.”
Bryan Stevenson

In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America’s justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country’s black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America’s unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.

 

 

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Quote: Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.

Proximity has taught me some basic and humbling truths, including this vital lesson: Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice. Finally, I’ve come to believe that the true measure of our commitment to justice, the character of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness, and equality cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the respected among us. The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor; the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.

We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated. An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, a state, a nation. Fear and anger can make us vindictive and abusive, unjust and unfair, until we all suffer from the absence of mercy and we condemn ourselves as much as we victimize others. The closer we get to mass incarceration and extreme levels of punishment, the more I believe it’s necessary to recognize that we all need mercy, we all need justice, and – perhaps – we all need some measure of unmerited grace.

~ Bryan Stevenson from Just Mercy

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