Bryan Stevenson Lecture Commentary – Lydia Catterall

I found it impactful that Stevenson did not sugarcoat the issues around which his speech centered, such as explicitly telling the crowd that people of color will have a harder life than white people. I think one of the persistent problems in this country is white people thinking that issues surrounding racism have been solved. Stevenson seemed to target this perception in his speech. All his stories clearly demonstrated the remaining racism in the United States, and the wide range of situations he spoke of show how far the reach of racism extends. At one point Stevenson told the crowd that the Civil Rights Movement is over-celebrated, which was a call to recognize the reality we live in and how it still needs to change. Following the hard truth of his stories, Stevenson urged the crowd to have hope. I felt very much called to action by the end of the speech, with Stevenson’s message that so much needs to improve, but there is hope that this change can happen. 

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