Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th lays out in stark terms the history of black oppression in America after emancipation, from Klan terrorism to the modern carceral state. It also places this history in very current terms, tying the reactionary racism of Donald Trump’s movement to the segregationist battle against the civil rights movement.
13th is playing in some theaters and is also available on Netflix. My review is at Eyes Wide Open:
Slavery was outlawed by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Even though America spent its early centuries underpinning its economy with slavery in the South (captive labor) and the North (trading in both those slaves and the goods they produced), after the nations bloodiest conflict, it finally listened to Lincolns better angels and made forced labor a thing of the past. That remains true except, as Ava Duvernay’s spring-coiled and crucial documentary 13th makes painfully clear, for one exception…
Here’s the trailer: