Why is this film called 13th

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The film, released in 2016, is a Netflix production, but can also be found for free on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfcq5pF8u8Links to an external site.
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In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom. Please watch the first 40 minutes of the film (you are welcome to watch more!), and then, in a discussion post below, answer the following questions. Please answer with specific examples from the film.

  1. Why is this film called 13th?
  2. How does 13thcharacterize our criminal justice system and political institutions? How did this film shape your understanding of the prison system?
  3. How do you think media and popular culture representations of black Americans, particularly black men, have contributed to a dangerous climate of white fear and anxiety? How can we challenge these instances of racism and dehumanization?

responses should do more than just agree or disagree, but attempt to push to conversation further or offer your own analysis.


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