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13th - the Documentry

Essay by   •  December 11, 2016  •  Book/Movie Report  •  522 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,383 Views

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The documentary starts out with stating an astonishing statistic: “One out of four African-American males will serve prison time at one point or another in their lives.”  It is clear that the film hinges on the 13th Amendment itself—as the title indicates.  As a side note, the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery.  Though the film highlights the significant loophole that was left from the very amendment—that slavery hasn’t actually disappeared from the U.S.  The film investigates that roots of America’s mass incarceration problem, and how slavery evolved into our modern system of mass incarceration.  I thought that this documentary was both jaw-dropping and eye-opening.  The film really challenged my perception on mass incarceration and the intersection of race and justice in the United States.  Personally, I learned many different things throughout the documentary.  For example, I learned that big corporations, like Victoria’s Secret and Walmart have reaped profits off the privatization of prisons and prison labor.  I was unaware of exactly how little some prisoners get paid for their contribution of prison labor.  I was also shocked at learning that America now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world.  I think that this documentary enlightens its audience about raw facts and it needs to be known to everyone.  Additionally, I think that it was incredible to hear and know that African Americans, for example Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, who were simply fighting for equal rights could lead to or develop to be anything close to a threat to the United States.  I have always admired Martin Luther King Jr., and for the courageous leader that he was during the Civil Rights Movement.  I have always been so inspired by leaders who work towards equality and justice for all.  The documentary spoke so many volumes and I could not have been more grateful to have watched it.  I don’t think that there is one person who could not benefit from watching this documentary.  While there will always be people who choose to deny the facts about topics like this, this documentary makes it quite difficult for anybody to reject the truth.  This problem has developed into a problem that most people could not fathom.  I also recognize that this documentary was released around a time where it is more relevant to today’s society than some may realize.  I know that I have said this already, but I truly am immensely grateful that I was assigned to watch it because of how beneficial and educational it was.  It is also a great film to educate young students.  There is not one single doubt that there are tough things included in the documentary.  The facts are right in front of us and every person needs to understand what the entire purpose of the film is and what it is trying to do.  There was so much that needed to be said about the topic and so much of it was said—and for that this film is remarkable.    



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