Exonerated Members Of 'Central Park Five' To Speak At Duke

Sep 2, 2019

A scene from the 2019 Netflix mini series, "When They See Us."
Credit Netflix

Two exonerated members of what was known as the "Central Park Five," will speak at Duke University Monday night. The detailed story of the "Central Park Five" played out for all to see in the critically acclaimed Netflix mini series, "When They See Us." Netflix said the series, written and directed by Ava DuVernay, was their most-watched series.

Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana are scheduled to speak in Page Auditorium at Duke to a sold out crowd. Attendance is free, but a ticket is required. The name of the talk is "Now They Hear Us: Living Without Regret and Inspiring Future Generations." Salaam said on Facebook's "A Closer Look" that his childhood was stolen.

"But I could either say, man I got lemons, I don't got no water. I don't got no honey or sugar. I can't make no lemonade with this. But I'm telling you man, you got to make some lemonade."

Salaam, who is African American, was wrongly convicted in the brutal attack and rape of a white, female jogger in New York's Central Park when he was 15 years old. All of the accused, and later exonerated, men of color were between 14 and 16 years of age when they were arrested.

Salaam and Santana will also visit Duke Law School Tuesday for the launch of the Duke Center for Science Law. The center will apply legal research to criminal justice reform.