Friday, October 7, 2016
Lexile = 1130
Just Mercy will change the way you see much of the world. This is the true story of the establishment of the Equal Justice Initiative. The author, Bryan Stevenson, is a lawyer that has committed his career to seeking justice for those whom our system has overlooked and abused. Much of the book centers on Walter McMillian, one of Stevenson's first clients who was so obviously NOT guilty, but was condemned to death row due to racism, political intrigue, and downright evil. Lots of other stories here as well, which makes this very readable for my high schoolers. A historical sidenote: it all begins in the same county made "famous" by Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. And it's about the same thing!
I was struck by the personal journey explored by the author. He states: "My years of struggling against inequality, abusive power, poverty, oppression, and injustice had finally revealed something to me about myself. Being close to suffering, death, executions, and cruel punishments didn't just illuminate the brokenness of others; in a moment of anguish and heartbreak, it also exposed my own brokenness. You can't effectively fight abusive power, poverty, inequality, illness, oppression, or injustice and not be broken by it."
Wow. This is a bit outside the box for my reading. Loved it. Will think about lots of people in a different way now.