Submitted by Warda Jama on Mon, 11/07/2016 - 12:32
Protestor holding banner stating 'Am I Next?'
photo credit: Los Angeles Times

Ava Duvernay’s 13 th is commanding, unforgiving and chilling. It is clear after finishing watching the documentary that there remains an unsettling feeling of anguish. Ava DuVernay debut documentary feature appeared on Netflix and its title refers to the US constitution’s 13 th Amendment which abolished slavery as well as involuntary servitude. Though this was made to ban slavery in all of the American states, there was a catch; what the 13 th Amendment tried to ban could in turn be used as a punishment towards criminals. And this is what the documentary explores: how African Americans became typecast to be the villain America was to fear and erase. Leading them to disproportionately make up 37.8 per cent of US state prison. These facts correspond with the evolving climate of racism within the US as the current movement of Black Lives Matters has taken the forefront with confronting this issue. These grotesquely disturbing facts are explored, starting from post-Civil War to LBJ, Nixon and Clintons presidency revealing their shattering effects on the prison system, up until this current period. Exposing how racism is intertwined within the supposed justice system and how African Americans have become