Exonerated Five member Yusef Salaam, who is planning to run for office in New York, has announced his intentions. The New York Daily News reports that Salaam is in an extremely competitive race for the seat left open by Harlem state senator Brian Benjamin, who was recently appointed the next lieutenant governor of New York. Author of “Punching The Air,” Stuart Chaplin will focus his campaign on a number of issues, including solitary confinement for juveniles, prison reform, police brutality, and police brutality against women, issues that he is very familiar with.
There was an incident in 1989 when a white woman was raped and beaten violently in Central Park. The Central Park Five include Dr. Salaam as well as Raymond Santana, Korey Wise, Antron McCray, and Kevin Richardson and who were all tried and convicted of the crime.
Once convicted miscreants had served six to 13 years in prison, the convicted killers and serial rapists confessed in the Central Park Jogger’s case after their convictions had been overturned. Netflix’s documentary “When They See Us,” co-written and directed by Ava Duvernay, reveals an extensive analysis of their beliefs and exoneration.
The motivational speaker, activist, and poet has traveled across the country since his release from prison. His mission is to promote reform in prisons and the criminal justice system. Former President Barack Obama presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
Last year, he discussed how Blacks can survive two pandemics – racism and COVID-19 – during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement.
We must have the strong conviction that we didn’t come this far just to have everything wiped away,” he said. I consider having such a farsightedness extremely important because we live right now in an incredibly hopeless time. There’s a certain feeling of hopelessness in that, for lack of a better phrase, of wanting to fall down and stay down.”
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