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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

13th (2016)

This documentary, nominated for the Best Documentary at this year's Academy Award, takes on the always controversial topic of race in America.  The film opens with former President Obama stating that while America has only 5% of the world's population, it has 25% of the world's incarcerated population.  One of every four people behind bars is an American.  That is a staggering fact, and the movie postulates that the situation was created with the end of slavery and the 13th Amendment.  The South was powered on slave labor and when slavery ended, the need for labor was high.  Black men went from being enslaved to being imprisoned, where they were literally sentenced to hard labor.  The documentary brings us through the additional reasons that kept African American men behind bars in ever increasing numbers up to the present day.  It is both painful and persuasive, and not in a good way.

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