13TH Is A Documentary You Should Watch Right Now
“So lets look at the statistics. The United States is home to five percent of the world’s population, but but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Think about that.”
–President Barack Obama
“The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary 13TH refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”
The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.”
This documentary just dropped on Netflix today. I had a chance to watch it myself, and if you have access, I highly recommend that you check it out.
It covers the inescapable and undeniable connections of the legal and political system to the mass incarceration of Black people, the “war on drugs” and the prison industrial complex as a response to the abolition of slavery; tying historical examples to what’s happening today, including #BlackLivesMatter.
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW