• A California woman was inspired by her brother’s murder conviction to study law, so she enrolled at Southwestern Law School.
  • The woman, A.B. Burns-Tucker, is slated to graduate in 2023.
  • She has also launched a TikTok account where she breaks down current affairs in a way that’s easier for young people, especially Black people, to understand.

A.B. Burns-Tucker watched as her brother Brandon was convicted of murder as a teenager.

He was sentenced to 50 years to life and convicted based on a law that lets the state prosecute everyone who was “in on” a crime or knew it was happening.

Burns-Tucker vowed to change the system from within and enrolled at Southwestern Law School. Then in 2020, she began filming TikTok videos about current events to help young Black people like herself better understand them.

She has amassed more than 630,000 followers on the video sharing site and her skills have even earned her an invitation to the White House, where she met the president and vice president.

Burns-Tucker, a 33-year-old mother of one, says her videos resonate with people because she speaks just like she would with her friends and family, sans the code switching (or changing the way she speaks).

Among the catchphrases she uses to start her videos is the ever-so-popular “Okay, so BOOM!”

One of her first videos to do big numbers was about Ukraine and Russia, but she has also talked about current affairs such as inflation,  healthcare and international relations between China and the U.S.

Her videos help her reach an audience that likely otherwise wouldn’t pay attention to current events, she said.

Slang:Don’t know what terms Gen Z is using on TikTok? Here’s your guide to what they mean, no cap

African-American Vernacular English: Much of our slang comes from the Black community. Not acknowledging that perpetuates racism.

Why did she start making the videos?

While studying law, Burns-Tucker found that it was pretty difficult to understand some of the “archaic” legalese. “I would be looking up every other word in the dictionary,” she said. “To help myself and help my friends, I would just make a story out of it.”

So when discussing cases, she might say, “The court is mad because ol’ boy took ol’ girl across the state.”

Calling it a “survival tactic” as a law student (first generation, at that), Burns-Tucker said she doesn’t write that way during exams, but it helps her retain the info.