Study Guide Themes Archives: Race, Ethnicity & Identity

Just Mercy

Just Mercy is the true story of young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) and his history-making battles for justice in Alabama. Stevenson refuses to back down as he fights a legal system without mercy stacked against him and his clients at every turn. One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), a man whose clear innocence means nothing to the corrupt and compassionless forces Stevenson doggedly takes on.

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Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland

In 2015, Sandra Bland, a politically active black woman from Chicago, was arrested for a traffic violation in a small Texas town. Three days later, Sandra was found hanging from a noose in a jail cell. Combining Bland’s video blogs with extraordinary access to her family’s testimony and their legal team, Say Her Name is both an engrossing murder mystery and a disturbing account of systemic racism and neglect.

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The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give tells the story of Starr Carter, a young woman who is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.

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Undefeated

Set in Memphis, Undefeated chronicles the Manassas Tigers’ 2009 football season as they strive to win the first playoff game in the high school’s 110-year history.

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The Visitor

Walter, s widower college professor, travels to New York City to speak at an academic conference and discovers a swindler has rented his apartment to a young, illegal immigrant couple. The two nearly leave but Walter convinces them to stay, and a friendship develops between the trio as they learn to get by together.

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