In this #unabridgedbookclub episode, we discuss Bryan Stevenson's nonfiction book Just Mercy. Stevenson discusses his work as an attorney with prisoners on death row and with individuals who were sentenced to life in prison when they were children.
During our discussion, we strive to cover the plethora of issues raised by the book, including mass incarceration, the way we deal with mental disabilities and mental illness, the death penalty, and the role of poverty in the criminal justice system. Our conversation, like the book, is wide ranging both in topic and emotion as we reflect on what we gained from Stevenson's book. This truly is, as Sara says in the episode, a book that should be a "must read."
Introduction: 00:00 - 01:42
Just Mercy: 01:43 - 52:19
Book Pairings: 52:30 - 61:10
Classroom Connections: 61:15 - 64:04
Ashley - Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man
Jen - Ernest J. Gaines’s A Lesson Before Dying
Sara - Beth Macy’s Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America
Other Mentions and Additional Resources
Bryan Stevenson’s TED Talk: “We need to talk about an injustice”
Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Orange Is the New Black series
Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “The Case for Reparations”
Patrisse Khan Cullers and Asha Bandele's When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
Mónica Teresa Ortiz’s “Untitled [Executions have always been public spectacles]”
Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.
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