Racism to The 13th Degree

By Jordan Nickels | In The Exonerated, the topic of race is very prevalent to the stories of the exonerees of color, especially in their experiences with police officers and the criminal justice system.

This issues have recently been addressed in filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s new documentary The 13th on Netflix which was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards. The 13th also opened the 2016 New York Film Festival, the first documentary to open the festival.

The documentary chronicles the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States as it relates to the Thirteenth Amendment in the Constitution:

“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.”

What Ava accomplishes in this film is bursting the political bubble on the “mythology of black criminality” in our country, which holds 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population. Who is really free? What does it mean to be enslaved? Who is the criminal?

Read more about Ava DuVernay’s documentary The 13th here:

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/10/ava-duvernay-13th-netflix/503075/ 

And read how Ava made this film along with the current political climate:

http://www.essence.com/culture/ava-duvernay-13th-donald-trump-presidency

13th-netflix-documentary-poster

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