Wednesday marked the first day of Black History Month. Here at the Innocence Project, we see the month as a terrific time to reflect on the effects of our nation’s flawed criminal justice system on the lives of black Americans, both today and also historically. We also use it as an opportunity to acknowledge and honor black exonerees in which racial bias played a role in their wrongful convictions.
During a recent visit to the Innocence Project, New Jersey exoneree Rodney Roberts described what Black History Month means to him: “Happy Black History Month! I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge some of the greats in our history—both men and women—who have helped promote and [uplift] black people and our contribution to this country and worldwide. We need to take time out to acknowledge Black History Month because now is an important moment for us to reflect back on our heritage.”
Well said, Rodney.
Stay tuned to the Innocence Blog for more reflections and stories in the upcoming month in honor of the complex and bold history of black people in America.