America's history of racism has clear, shameful roots dating back to slavery.
The Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that “provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system,” paints a brutal picture of America's ongoing treatment of African Americans in its new video.
In the video, artist Molly Crabapple illustrates how Africans were first brought overseas to Jamestown, Virginia for the slave trade in 1619 and how they continued to be traded in Montgomery, Alabama until the 1800s.
In fact, at certain points in our history, it was actually illegal to be black and not a slave in the state of Alabama.
The video goes on to discuss Jim Crow policies, segregation and issues African American communities still face today, including their higher incarceration rates and tendencies to serve longer prison sentences.
Americans might never make true strides toward overcoming racism until, as a whole, we admit to our historical relationship with systematic racism.