Santaluces High School

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Santaluces High School

The Tribe

Santaluces High School

The Tribe

“When They See Us:” The Best Television Show to Watch during Black History Month

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De’juh Hickman
A sneak peak at a scene from “When They See Us”

Over the weekend I finished, “When They See Us” on Netflix. It’s a 4 episode series that discusses the real-life stories of the Central Park Five/Exonerated Five (Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, and Raymond Santana).

The boys were joined by 25 others in 1889 as they took a walk through the park while blasting music and joking around with each other. Trisha Meili was jogging through the park during this time which sadly resulted in her being brutally beaten and raped to the point where she could barely recollect any members of the night. The police suspected the group of boys as the main suspects and immediately began running after them and putting them in handcuffs while hitting them with their helmets and treating them as if they were criminals who had already been proven guilty. They were sent to trial at a time when the whole world was awaiting the results and the police department was forcing them to confess to a crime that they didn’t commit. Everyone involved in the case was bombarded with people snapping pictures and asking overbearing questions that invaded the family’s privacy.

I love that the show depicts the common struggle of how blacks and Hispanics become victims of discrimination and stereotypes by showing the real-life stories of individuals, as young as 14 and 15 years old, who were manipulated into confessing to the physical and sexual assault of a white woman in Central Park. The viewer is left to wonder how different the outcome of the trial would have been if the boys being accused were white.

While the show only consists of 4 episodes, each episode is about an hour long and they are packed with the disturbing and chilling details of the lies and truth of what happened that night. Episode 1 follows the boys from the moment that their feet step into the park until they are thrown in holding cells, the audience gets to see what went into the boys confessing to the murder and the resulting regret. Episode 2 allows the audience to see the behind-the-scenes process of the boys, their families, and their lawyers preparing for the trial while the outside world creates and publicizes their opinions and propaganda. Episode 3 allows the audience to glimpse into the lives of the boys while being locked behind bars and a fast forward to what 4 of the boys’ lives are like after returning home. The last and final episode of the limited series takes a peek into Korey’s life while being incarcerated, I would make sure to have tissues near because this episode may result in tears.

Overall, I would rate this show a 10/10. Not only does it keep the audience engaged it flashed into the future so that the viewers can see how the lives of the accused were impacted after being free. After watching the series, I was able to browse the web and different social media platforms to see what the men are doing today. To anyone who loves documentaries, I hope that this 4 episode series becomes a part of your watch list.

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