Please reflect on the documentary 13th.(Available via Netflix, facebook, youtube, etc .)
The film looks back to the ratification of Amendment XIII (13th), which states, “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 the films director argues that a prison-industrial complex which statistically imprisons black men disproportionately and allows for their disciplinary servitude, has taken advantage of America’s black population and brings into question if this system ultimately acts as a form of modern day slavery.
Featuring a wide range of interviewees, 13th moves from the media-induced criminalization of black persons to the corporate privatization of prisons. This assignment will ask you to reflect on the following questions and answer them within your response.
- What are your thoughts on the film’s argument that people have been subconsciously conditioned to fear black men at the behest of the media?
- How knowledgeable are you on the concept of social privilege? Do you ever reflect upon the systematic privileges you may or may not experience because of race, gender, age, class, sexual orientation, religion, physical/mental abilities, etc.?
- The film argues that there is a direct link between American slavery and the modern American prison system. What is your take on this argument?
- Do you see yourself making any personal changes in your life after having watched 13TH? If so, what kinds of changes?
Please answer these questions within your response. Your response should be double spaced and in MLA format please have a minimum of five paragraphs but try not to exceed two pages in length.
Ava Duvernay, and Jason Moran. 13TH. USA, 2016. Available via Netflix, youtube, etc .