Here's why everyone is talking about 'When They See Us"
This image released by Netflix shows Ethan Herisse as Young Yusef Salaam, and Aunjanue Ellis as Sharonne Salaam in a scene from "When They See Us." (Photo:AP)

Netflix original series “When They See Us" is a must see! "When They See Us" is a mini-series based on the true story of the

Central Park Jogger case from 1989, in which a white female jogger was attacked and raped in Central Park in Manhattan, New York City. In four episodes, the mini-series depicts the forced confessions, and trial of the famed 'Central Park Five' - the five black and latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of the crime. Episodes one to four focuses on four members of the groups' time in the juvenile correctional system and their struggles to return to normal life, while the last episode chronicles the fifth member, who was 16 at the time, and as such was convicted as an adult. "When They See Us" unapologetically brings to screen the high levels of racism these boys faced by the unjust justice system. The five teens were convicted of the crimes though there was no solid evidence linking the teens to the victim; no fingerprints, no blood matches - only coerced confessions said by these scared teens. The boys barely knew one another, and their confessions altogether were inconsistent, but the court found them guilty. This was one of the most publicized crimes of the 1980s, and arguably throughout American history. Though the four African Americans namely Antron, Kevin, Korey and Yusef; and one Hispanic, Raymond, were all wrongfully convicted were dubbed as the

Central Park Five, executive Producer, Ava Duvernay did not give the mini-series that name, but rather "When They See Us"

as she brings to light what America thinks when they see 'us', us black people. Racism is not a new social issue, but in showcasing events of the past, Duvernay has surely stirred up black consciousness. One of the pivotal points of the mini-series is the role of the racist prosecutor, Linda Fairstein. As such, the public is not only empathizing the struggles of the black race but is still demanding justice in a modern way. Since the release of the series the public is demanding that Linda Fairstein, who went on to be a successful novelist, be boycotted and that her books be pulled from retailers. Though technology has increased, culture has diversified and borders have diminished, one thing is constant: what they think When TheySee Us! 

--Akeelia Richards


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