Answer the following questions based on the documentary Film 13th on Netflix, which must be a total of at least 400 words total:
How did you feel after viewing 13th? Did you feel helpless, inspired, stirred to action, or a combination of all three? Do you think the message of the film was ultimately hopeful? Why or why not?
Have you ever had to confront direct or systemic racism in your life? If so, how were you affected?
How does 13th characterize our criminal justice system and political institutions? How does this film shape your understanding of the prison system? Was there a particular case or series of facts that altered or challenged any of your pre-existing views?
This documentary emphasized the current crisis of mass incarceration is directly related to our country’s legacy and history of slavery. By showing how slavery shifted to convict leasing, to Jim Crow segregation, to the war on drugs, 13th argues that “systems of oppression are durable and they often reinvent themselves.” As Angela Davis stated in the film, “Historically, when one looks at efforts to create reforms, they inevitably lead to more repression/.” What are ways you can end this cycle?
How do you think media and popular culture representations of Black Americans, particularly of Black men, have contributed to a dangerous climate of white fear and anxiety? Make sure to think about the way Zimmerman was heard describing Trayvon Martin, or the media frenzy around the Central Park Five that resulted in their wrongful imprisonment. How can we challenge these instances of racism and dehumanization?