New Book Releases April 20, 2016
The words “Not Guilty” set one man free, but somehow made all African-Americans, no matter their varied opinions, the enemy.
“… the defendant, Orenthal James Simpson, not guilty of the crime of murder…”
The Trial of the Century had come to an end. The verdict hit the airwaves and the eyes of the nation descended on the city that made superstars out of attorneys.
As an African-American recent college graduate living and working in the city, that verdict had a profound effect on me and the life I made for myself. The trial and the shocking verdict served as the impetus for what would be months of turmoil and unrest.
Protests, debates, and incessant banter from both sides of the aisle permeated in our membranes. Lives were changed. Alliances were formed. Mistrust became the rule, not the exception. The words “Not Guilty” set one man free, but somehow made all African-Americans, no matter their varied opinions, the enemy. No one cared to seek our perspective. No one bothered to ask the right questions. We were clumped together as if our stories were one and the same.
From the horrific Rodney King assault, to the unsettling residuum following the O.J. Simpson verdict, my life changed in profound ways.