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Charlotte Talks: 'It's Hard Being Black In This Country.' A Conversation With Bakari Sellers

Instagram / Bakari Sellers

A “true child of the Civil Rights Movement,” former South Carolina lawmaker Bakari Sellers says the cries of that era are echoing now in the national unrest over the police killing of George Floyd.

While Floyd’s death was the catalyst for the protests, Sellers says they also reflect “systemic injustice and systemic racism that’s plagued this country for 400 years.”

Sellers, who now lives in Charlotte and provides political commentary for CNN, views the state of America through the eyes of his father, Cleveland, who was shot in the late 1960s in the Orangeburg Massacre at South Carolina State University.

He also sees the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on people of color as someone who was raised in a South Carolina community that lacks a hospital, lives with polluted water and air, and has scarce access to food.

“Until we start fundamentally giving black folk the benefit of their humanity, we will still have these systemic problems that are now boiled over into the streets,” Sellers says.

Sellers' new book, "My Vanishing Country: A Memoir," explores the moments and the people that shaped his life.

To hear more of our conversation with Bakari Sellers, listen to the podcast above.


Bakari Sellers, CNN political analyst, former South Carolina House member (2006-2014), author of "My Vanishing Country: A Memoir" (@Bakari_Sellers)

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A veteran of Charlotte radio news, Chris joined the "Charlotte Talks" staff in January 2016, but has been listening to WFAE since discovering the station as a high schooler.