A Faith and Film discussion was held Monday, October 19, at 7:00 P.M. Facilitated by Sam O’Neill, the film was 13th. It’s a 2016 documentary that explores ways in which race, justice, and mass incarceration intersect in the United States. The title refers to the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Adopted in 1865, it abolished slavery and ended involuntary servitude except as a punishment for conviction of a crime.
Film director Ava DuVernay contends that slavery has been perpetuated since the end of the Civil War through criminalizing behavior and enabling police to arrest poor freedmen and force them to work for the state under convict leasing; suppression of African Americans by disenfranchisement, lynchings, and Jim Crow; politicians declaring a war on drugs that weighs more heavily on minority communities and, by the late 20th century, mass incarceration affecting communities of color. She examines the prison-industrial complex, the emerging detention-industrial complex, and the money made by corporations from such incarcerations.