Courtney B. Vance hopes his new legal drama series ’61st Street,’ continues the conversation on police reform

George Burns/AMC

In the new AMC drama series, 61st Street, Courtney B. Vance stars as Franklin Roberts, a lawyer working to prevent Tosin Cole's character, Moses Johnson, from becoming a victim of Chicago's infamously corrupt criminal justice system. In addition to telling the all-too-familiar story of "a Black man's life in jeopardy at the hands of police," Vance says he hopes the show continues the real-life conversation on police reform.

Speaking with ABC Audio on the history of police in America, Vance says, "Their job was to keep African American males in line, so that is the idea of protecting and serving."

The series' plot -- authorities seeking revenge against Moses for the killing of an officer -- falls right in line with what Vance says is the reason that police as an organization was initially created.

"Their mission in the beginning was slave captures and making sure that the Black community was kept where they're supposed to be, because we're quote-unquote 'animals,'" Vance maintains.

While there are many aspects to the reform conversation, Vance says one of the most important factors to examine is that of police training.

"What is the unspoken rule and what is the unspoken training when it comes to people of color?" he says. "No one really wants to talk about the training, when they confront an African American young man as opposed to a white young man."

Vance then points out, "We all know what the training is [when police confront a Black man,] because we see the results of it, that the gun...clip is empty. Not one bullet...15."

Regarding his own interest in affecting positive change, Vance says, "I believe that humans are bigger and more important than any system. Because the system is made up of us."

61st Street airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on AMC.

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What would ‘Bridgerton’ be without two of its most “powerful” women: Queen Charlotte & Lady Danbury

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If you're one of the millions of people who contributed to Bridgerton’s season one record-breaking viewership, you've most likely started, or even already finished, season two of the Netflix dramedy. And with the return of the hit Shondaland series, came the commencement of the show's royal stars, including two of its leading ladies -- Queen Charlotte and Lady Danbury.

Her majesty Charlotte, played by Golda Rosheuvel, and matchmaker Danbury, Adjoa Andoh, both spoke to ABC Audio about the joy they experience portraying the dignified women on-screen.

"To play a powerful woman who knows how to navigate and strategize the bear pit that would be the Regency Court of this period is fabulous," Andoh said. "She gets to be manipulative, she gets to be loving, she gets to be hostile and welcoming, and she does it all with great style and elan..."

Rosheuvel expressed a similar sentiment about her character's regal essence, detailing a vital aspect of the Queen's fashion: her iconic wigs and luxurious ball gowns.

"It completely transformed the way I walk, the way I hold myself," she said of her double-corseted undergarments. "The way you walk in those things is quite phenomenal. I quite like it. It's quite choreographed for me. I like the way it kind of switches and stuff and the way my body moves."

The powerhouse in each of the women shines through quite clearly in Bridgerton, but they're also well aware of the overall cast impact. "The core of the show, it is a family...And we felt that in season one, filming it and coming back in season two, it was exactly the same," Rosheuvel said.

Lucky for fans of the "Ton," Queen Charlotte and Lady Danbury will continue their royal legacy in a new Netflix spin-off show.

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