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SLCL’s Black History Celebration Presents CNN Legal Analyst Laura Coates

Press Release

Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 11:19a.m.

The St. Louis County Library’s 2022 Black History Celebration presents a keynote event with Laura Coates, CNN’s Senior Legal Analyst.Coates will discuss and sign her memoir “Just Pursuit; A Black Prosecutor’s Fight for Fairness.” She will be in conversation with KMOX news anchor Carol Daniel.

The event will take place at Library Headquarters (1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.) Friday, February 4, 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Face masks required for all attendees.

Laura Coates is a CNN senior legal analyst and host of “The Laura Coates Show” on SiriusXM. A former federal prosecutor, Coates served as Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and a Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. 

When Laura Coates joined the Department of Justice as a prosecutor, she wanted to advocate for the most vulnerable among us. But she quickly realized that even with the best intentions, “the pursuit of justice creates injustice.”Through Coates’s experiences, we see that no matter how fair you try to fight, being Black, a woman, and a mother are identities often at odds in the justice system. She and her colleagues face seemingly impossible situations as they teeter between what is right and what is just.

On the front lines of our legal system, Coates saw how Black communities are policed differently; Black cases are prosecuted differently; Black defendants are judged differently. How the court system seems to be the one place where minorities are overrepresented, an unrelenting parade of Black and Brown defendants in numbers that belie their percentage in the population and overfill American prisons. 

Through revelatory scenes from the courtroom, Laura Coates explores the tension between the idealism of the law and the reality of working within the parameters of our flawed legal system, exposing the chasm between what is right and what is lawful.

The theme for St. Louis County Library’s 2022 Black History Celebration is “Still We Rise with Resilience & Brilliance.” The event with Laura Coates is the 2022 Frankie Freeman Inspirational Lecture, named in honor of the legendary St. Louis civil rights attorney Frankie Freeman. 

As part of the evening’s presentation, the 2022 Frankie Freeman Inspiration Award will be presented to Brittany “Tru” Kellman, founder and Executive Director of the Jamaa Birth Village - awarded in recognition of her dedication to providing prenatal care to women in underserved communities. 

Program sites are accessible. Upon two weeks’ notice, accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities. Contact St. Louis County Library by phone 314-994-3300, or visit