Michael K. Williams, Niecy Nash and Marsha Stephanie Blake talk the difficult choices the parents of the Central Park 5 made.
When They See Us is Ava DuVernay‘s latest cinematic protest. The Academy-Award nominated director takes viewers back to New York City in April 1989 when Trisha Meili, a 28-year-old white woman was viciously attacked and raped in Central Park. The police were lustful to find the ravenous “wolf pack” who were “wilding” in the park, as so many New York newspapers put it.
Instead, five black and brown boys–Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise were taken into custody by police, forced to lie on one another and coerced into confessing to a crime they didn’t commit. The outcome resulted in their convictions. Richardson, McCray, Santana, and Salaam served about seven years in juvenile prisons. Korey Wise, 16 at the time and the oldest among the group was sent to Rikers Island, where to stay alive he often stayed in solitary confinement.
While the boys’ life were undoubtedly affected, so were the lives of their parents. Vibe caught up with Michael K Williams, who played Antron’s father, Niecy Nash who played Korey Wise’s mother and Marsha Stephanie Blake who took on the role of Antron’s mother and discussed the difficult choices these parents made with the limited resources they had.