Ava Duvernay’s doc on the amendment that, whoops, still allows slavery.
Its called our prison systems. Today there are more black men in federal and private prisons then there were enslaved black people. Other documentaries are out there about the incarceration of entire generations of black men and women, but this one is made by Ava Duvernay and has garnered a massive amount of media attention.
In the Jim Crow Era, the amendment was used to strip freed black slaves of any and all gains they had made in the years since the abolition of slavery in 1865 when the 13th Amendment is formally adopted.
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.
Promptly following in 1866 Convict Leasing began its legacy in America, “In 1866, Alabama’s first convict lease was for 374 state prisoners to a railroad company for a total of $5. Texas’ first agreement this year was for 250 convicts to two railroad companies for $12.50 a month. Louisiana began in 1866 by leasing out forty-five men for fifty cents a day. Arkansas began leasing convicts in 1867, though for the first six years it paid its lessees thirty-five cents per convict per day. In 1868, Georgia’s first convict lease was for 100 convicts for $2,500 to a railroad company. Mississippi’s first lease in 1868 was for 241 prisoners to a cotton plantation” Source
I reflect on my time spent in NOLA post-Katrina with Malik Rahim and the organization he founded out of the rubble, Common Ground. Here, thousands of college kids (mostly white), spent their Spring Breaks in the swampy heat of New Orleans volunteering in recovery and also being schooled on the historical challenges that blacks have faced in this country straight through 1865 up until the present day. The anger and frustration; the shock and sorrow they felt, the disappointment in their own ignorance. The sense of purpose and powerlessness up against a mountain of lies and deceit. Hey everyone, we’re far from celebration, but Duvernay’s commitment to the issues at hand, means more people are gonna get woke! We can only hope.