To be truthful, I couldn’t get through Netflix original series When They See Us. It was so incredibly raw, gripping and truthful that to learn of the infamously dubbed “Central Park Five” proved almost too much to handle – and that is why it has gone on to become so successful. At the 2019 Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, it won one of its first accolades with Jharrel Jerome for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series.
At just 21 years-old, this was an amazing feat and breakout for Jerome and his tear-sodden acceptance speech was proof. Fronting one of the wrongly accused boys, Korey Wise, after thanking director Ava DuVernay and his family the young actor paid tribute to the now-exonerated five followed by a standing ovation.
Congratulations, Jharrel Jerome 🙌🏾
— Strong Black Lead (@strongblacklead) September 23, 2019
“Most importantly, this is for the men that we know as the ‘Exonerated Five’,” he announced on the Emmys stage. The five men were in attendance, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, and could be seen crying from the audience.
The four part series explores the 25-year chronicle from the children’s arrest in the Spring of 1989, to their exoneration over a decade later and finally to the police settlement in New York City in 2014.
For those of colour in a politically unrest America, this is a step in the right direction.