A frank and enlightening discussion on race and the law in America today, from some of our leading legal minds—including the bestselling author of Just Mercy
This blisteringly candid discussion of the American racial dilemma in the age of Black Lives Matter brings together the head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the former attorney general of the United States, a bestselling author and death penalty lawyer, and a star professor for an honest conversation the country desperately needs to hear.
Drawing on their collective decades of work on civil rights issues as well as personal histories of rising from poverty and oppression, these titans of the legal profession discuss the importance of working for justice in an unjust time.
Covering topics as varied as “the commonality of pain,” “when ‘public’ became a dirty word,” and the concept of an “equality dividend” that is due to people of color for helping America brand itself internationally as a country of diversity and acceptance, Sherrilyn Ifill, Loretta Lynch, Bryan Stevenson, and Anthony C. Thompson engage in a deeply thought-provoking discussion on the law’s role in both creating and solving our most pressing racial quandaries. A Perilous Path will speak loudly and clearly to everyone concerned about America’s perpetual fault line.
A symposium on racial injustice and law in the U.S. after the 2016 presidential election, convened in celebration of the establishment of NYU Law School's Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law, unfolds here as a smoothly flowing but less-than-revelatory conversation. Anthony C. Thompson, the center's faculty director, moderates a panel composed of Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Loretta Lynch, former U.S. attorney general; and Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Each expert, steeped in their office's history, articulates the various roles of federal, state, and local governments in combating discrimination. Their dialogue is at times extemporaneous and warm, reflecting shared experience between the speakers, as when Thompson recalls, "Loretta was a great ally as we moved forward on the Civil Rights front." However, the many fleeting references to both current events and past historical touchstones, including Jim Crow, residential redlining, and civil rights protests, assume more prior knowledge than many readers will possess. Eschewing moralizing, the speakers opt instead for practical suggestions for combating inequality and finding hope in Americans' renewed interest in politics. It's unclear who the book would most appeal to; the length suggests novices, who will be lost with no context, but the lack of depth will be disappointing to scholars.