The great evil of American slavery wasn’t involuntary servitude, says public-interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson. It was the ideology of white supremacy used to justify it — and it’s an ugly part of our history we need to acknowledge.

We need to have more honest, open-ended conversations about race and bias — in our own lives and in the TV shows and movies we see, says diversity consultant Vernā Myers.

Katie Copeland

It’s one thing to read about segregation and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s in books. But history comes to life when you hear from the people who were on the front lines.

African American writer Rich Benjamin spent two years living in — and writing about — America’s whitest neighborhoods. The response to his book (and TED Talk) was honest, raw — and sometimes misunderstood his purpose. Here, he responds to the response.

ideas.ted.com

For many young black men in America, systemic bias and racism make the simplicity of childhood unjustly complicated. In a letter to the son he may someday have, poet Clint Smith reflects on the lessons he learned as a child and shares his hopes for his future son.

David Oyelowo in Selma. Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures. | ideas.ted.com

In the movie Selma, director Ava DuVernay chronicles the 1965 marches that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. She explained why Martin Luther King Jr. is so much more than a symbol or an annual holiday.

Did Michael Brown receive the death penalty — only without any recourse to a fair trial? Criminal sentencing scholar Jelani Exum thinks so. Hear more from her along with 9 other provocative, thought-provoking takes on contemporary race issues within America.