WXXI AM News

Coming up on Connections: Monday, February 15

Feb 12, 2021

Credit https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cszmm6

First hour: "Witness History" - Black History Month special

Second hour: "Driving While Black"

We have special programming on this Monday. In our first hour, it's "Witness History," a Black History Month special. The program features eyewitness accounts of important moments in recent African American history. We hear from the daughter of the man named in the court case that became a turning point in the battle for civil rights, plus the sister of a teenager killed in a racist bomb attack. We learn how the winning performance of an all-Black basketball team helped change white Americans' attitudes about segregation in sport. Then, we hear about Rodney King, whose attack by police in 1991 was caught on camera and seen by millions; the later acquittal of the officers sparked days of rioting. Finally, we hear from Bilal Chatman, who was sentenced to 150 years in prison under the 1994 'three strikes law,' which disproportionately affected Black Americans. Putting it all into context, presenter Max Pearson talks to Professor Gloria Browne-Marshall of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Then in our second hour, it's "Driving While Black." One evening in 2015, Montrealer Kenrick McRae was pulled over by police. The officer told him his license plate lights weren’t bright enough. So, after having the dealership verify his lights were in fact working fine, Kenrick got another light and mounted it himself to make sure he would never be given the same reason again. But he still was. In fact, no matter how scrupulous he is, Kenrick, who is Black, says he has been stopped by Montreal police multiple times. After Kenrick's girlfriend filmed him being handcuffed and detained during a traffic stop one night in 2017, he lodged a formal complaint with Quebec's police ethics committee, determined to prove that what's happening to him is because of the color of his skin. This is the story of one person's ongoing experience of racial profiling by police, and how it has undermined every facet of his life.