‘When They See Us’ is a miniseries created by Ava DuVernay for Netflix. It revolves around the premise of the infamous, Central Park jogger case, in which five teenagers were wrongfully convicted for the rape of a 28-year-old woman. The series focuses on the five characters and tells the story from their perspective, bringing the attention on all kinds of ways through which five innocent lives were destroyed because the cops didn’t do their job right.
This isn’t DuVernay’s first time dealing with a project that tells the story about racial prejudice and injustice. She has tackled similar themes in her previous works like the Academy Award-nominated ‘Selma’ and ‘13th’. Written by DuVernay, Robin Swicord, Attica Locke, Yusuf Hassan and Michael Starrbury, ‘When They See Us’ stars Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares and Justin Cunningham in the lead roles, with Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, Marquis Rodriguez and Asante Black playing the younger version of their characters.
Summary of the Plot
In 1989, America was rocked by the brutal assault and rape of a young woman, who was left for dead in Central Park. The police quickly picked up the pieces of the case and tried to put together everything to catch the perpetrator. They found it in five teenage boys- four African-American and one Hispanic- who had been a part of the mob that had been “wilding” around the park that night. Since the mob had been in the vicinity of the crime scene, the police rounded up everyone and after a thorough investigation (at least, that’s what they said), they end up blaming five teenagers, ranging from the age of 14 to 16. ‘When They See Us’ follows this case, one step at a time in each episode, and shows the audience how it went down, over the course of fifteen years.
Why You Should Watch ‘When They See Us’
If you are one of those people who have somehow led themselves to believe that things like racism are highly exaggerated (just as others believe that climate change is a hoax), then this series should be an education for you. It is not a fabrication; it is not dramatized for the sake of entertainment. It is the truth laid bare about the injustice that African-Americans have faced in the country for so long.