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The film explores the “intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States;” it is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which freed the slaves and prohibited slavery (unless as punishment for a crime).
DuVernay’s documentary opens with the facts that today the US has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the people in the world who are incarcerated. She demonstrates that slavery has been perpetuated in practices since the end of the American Civil War through such actions as criminalizing behavior and enabling police to arrest poor freedmen and force them to work for the state under convict leasing; suppression of African Americans by disenfranchisement, lynchings and Jim Crow; conservative Republicans declaring a war on drugs that weighed more heavily on minority communities and, by the late 20th century, mass incarceration of people of color in the United States. She examines the prison-industrial complex and the emerging detention-industrial complex, demonstrating how much money is being made by corporations from such incarceration.
13th has garnered acclaim from film critics, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Oscars.
*Panelists include the members from the board of Sankofa Community Connection (abolitionists, educators and people that have been apart of this conversation for a long time)
Join us for a night to view this documentary, reflect and discuss.