On December 2, Sidley’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee hosted lawyer, entrepreneur, and author Brittany K. Barnett for a virtual book discussion of her inspiring memoir, A Knock at Midnight. During the event, Brittany shared stories and answered questions about her book which is once a coming-of-age story and a powerful evocation of what it takes to bring hope and justice to a system broken for so many.
Brittany K. Barnett was only a law student when she came across the case that would change her life forever—that of Sharanda Jones, single mother, business owner and, like Brittany, black daughter of the rural South. A victim of America’s ruthless and devastating war on drugs, Sharanda had been torn from the arms of her young daughter and was serving a life sentence without parole—all for a first-time drug offense. Sharanda’s case opened the door to a harrowing journey through the criminal justice system. By day Brittany moved billion-dollar deals, and by night she worked pro bono to free clients in nearly hopeless legal battles. Ultimately, her path transformed her understanding of injustice in the courts, of genius languishing behind bars, and the very definition of freedom.