Slavery was a business. The prison system is a business. When slavery ended the country found a loophole in the constitution within the 13th amendment. This loophole led to putting blacks in prisons for petty reasons and continued to put them into the workforce in that way without calling them “slaves.” This loophole led to the war on drugs, and media portraying blacks as criminals.
The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that “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, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Ava DuVernay’s documentary, 13th, tells the story of how slavery, Jim Crow, Ku Klux Klan, government officials, corporations, and the mass incarceration of today are all connected. The collective footage of the past and present is masterfully put together to open eyes and minds to better understand economics, social injustice, criminalization and mass incarceration.
The documentary is currently available on Netflix.
About the director:
Ava Marie DuVernay (born August 24, 1972) is an American director, screenwriter, film marketer, and film distributor. At the 2012Sundance Film Festival, DuVernay won the Best Director Prize for her second feature film Middle of Nowhere, becoming the first African-American woman to win the award. For her work in Selma, DuVernay was the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award. With Selma, she was also the first black female director to have her film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
In July 2016 the New York Film Festival made the surprise announcement that 13th, a documentary directed by DuVernay, would open the festival. Until the announcement no mention of the film had been made by either DuVernay or Netflix, the film’s distributor.
Director: Ava DuVernay
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