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Monday, January 28, 2019

Triple Threat

For the past few years, Bryan Stevenson has been a commanding presence in my life. I first learned of his organization - the Equal Justice Initiative - via my work with the former Deputy Attorney General of the NJ Office of Bias Crime. Not long after, I was taken with Stevenson's insights in "13th", Ava DuVernay's startling 2016 documentary. And the 60 Minutes interview Oprah Winfrey did with Stevenson to discuss his vision - a lynching memorial near Montgomery, Alabama - was unforgettable.

I was not surprised when "Just Mercy: A Story Of Justice And Redemption" moved me emotionally. But the stirring stories Stevenson relates in his 2014 debut are supported by sturdy prose, bracing honesty, and a strong narrative sense. Reading this excellent book reminded me how I felt the first time I heard George Benson sing. How cosmically unfair to give a singing voice that fine to such a prodigiously talented guitarist.

Stevenson is a gifted lawyer, an influential social architect, and a talented author. Damn.

4 comments:

  1. Susan and I are looking forward to seeing Bryan Stevenson as part of the NJPAC speaker series this spring. I also plan on reading the book.

    This Thursday Jeb Bush is the fireside chat.

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    1. Seeing Stevenson at NJPAC should be quite an experience. Be sure to tell Susan you red this post - she gave me his book as a Christmas gift. Thanks for continuing to read and occasionally comment.

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  2. That book was an incredible read and impacted me greatly as well. I read it as part of Cory Booker's "once in a while" book club. He had a wonderful Facebook interview with Bryan Stevenson as part of that. (It might be possible to find on his FB page....it was in 2019.) The man is so modest, so articulate and so thoughtful. If only there were more of him on the planet.....

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    1. Ines; Thanks (again) for your comment. I'm not surprised Stevenson's book moved you, as it did me. I'm seriously considering using it as a selection for my club.

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