The 13th Amendment Ava DuVernay documentary

imgresWhen I was seven years old I lived in Ann Arbor Michigan.  I had two best friends, one was Beth, a girl whose parents were practicing Christian Scientists.  The other was Robin, an African American girl.   I don’t recall much of that time except my Mom ran the brownie troop and both Robin and Beth were part of the troop.  We talked about political issues around the kitchen table so I do remember we discussed Christian Scientists and being black in America.  It was 1968.

Those years were turbulent years for our country.  Lots of change was trying to take place, there was a push/pull from social past with the social future.  My parents went to Chicago to march.  They were liberal and believed that we are all created equal.  They believed in change.

There were different times of my life when I went deep in reading about black history from Invisible Man to James Baldwin and everything in between.  I have gone deep again reading more than a handful of books this year.  I have always thought that our nation has done wrong by the black community.  Through prejudices  and our own system we have destroyed generations of black families from being able to succeed.  Succeed means living in communities that are safe, where families are home to put a meal on the table, where jobs are abundant and a misdemeanor doesn’t put someone in jail for decades and life is just good.

In high school there were only a handful of black families who lived in our community.  There was also a low income housing area where the majority of black families lived. The kids from there were part of the community but in many ways they were not.  They felt disconnected and kept a certain distance.  What I always remember is although there were black kids that came from both economic sides of the fence in our community when it came to graduation day they all sat and stood together united.  It made an impact on me. 

Life has not been easy for a many black families.  Why?  Go watch the 13th.  It is a documentary that should be mandatory for every 6th grader in this country.  It is on Netflix and take time out to go watch it.  The movie shows how our country, our lawmakers, our Presidents have used racism to systemically incarcerate young black men for no other reason but to continue a new form of slavery for corporate Americas pockets.

The movie is powerful.  The people DuVernay interviews are leaders in the black community.  It has taken generations but there are now more black people in this country who are at the top of many industries.  These smart respected educated individuals tell their people’s history in a way that you would hope that everyone will take pause.  We are seeing racism rear an incredibly ugly head in this election straight out of Trump’s mouth and it is vile and unacceptable

Through social media we now see racism on the streets getting a daily glimpse into how this community has been treated for as long as they can remember and others have been blind to.  That is why I am hopeful that we are at a turning point in regards to law enforcement in the black community as well as equality for everyone. 

 DuVernay has let the cat out of the bag and I would hope through her and others that change will come….as it is long over due.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Going to watch this today while I work on Halloween costumes.I’d love to see the list of what you’ve read this year on this topic. I’ve always felt that “Eyes On The Prize” should be required viewing for everyone in this country, as well. What’s sad about that one is that there seems to be some kind of issue around the rights, because it can be hard to find. It’s a travesty.Watched “Rubble Kings” (documentary) this weekend on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, you may like it. It’s only an hour. It took my respect for the Hip Hop movement and its artists to a new level. But there’s more there than just the Hip Hop origin story, which I bet you’ll pick up on.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Will watch!

  2. Emily Steed

    Thanks for this! I have kids in grades 5 and 7 and this seems perfect for us to watch together. Learning about how the justice system is implemented is a great way to connect for kids how politics impacts systems that have real impact on people’s lives.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Some might go over their head but they will certainly ask questions

  3. pointsnfigures

    I am conservative. I believe all people are created equal. That’s why I support efforts like school choice.

  4. P Donohue

    The history of this is quite interesting, especially the involvement of the Southern Baptist Convention(SBC) which was formed to give biblical cover to slavery. Slavery was the original minimum wage. The Civil War was not about slavery, it was about the money made via slavery and those who stood to loose that money, among the wealthiest in the USA at the time. The same goes for Jim Crow and segregation. After the Civil War they used poor whites against blacks to keep wages low. Again, the whole thing was about money.This continues to this day with those with the money playing those without against each other. For if they saw each other as they are, victims of class warfare, and united together politically things would be quite different.

    1. Gotham Gal

      United together would be key

  5. P Donohue

    There is an urge to change within the SBC simmering below the surface as the old guard clings to power with all they have. The use of fear has been a tradition. The reformers just need a nudge. First they want to take the word “Southern” out of the name. Then want to reshape the leadership the church away from the control of old, white, racist men. If the SBC were to clean house, things will begin to change politically.Jimmy Carter left because he could not stand the leadership and helped start a more inclusive organization.

  6. P Donohue

    This is interesting, Trump just hired Mike Roman to be in charge of poll watching/security. This marks Trump going full racist, no dog whistle, just megaphone. It is a move toward a “Southern Strategy” on steroids.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Insanely acary