Unformatted text preview: Destiny Anderson
Advisory Block 3
30th January 2017 “13” a documentary by Ava DuVernay According to Ava DuVernay’s documentary “13” , Racial hierarchy is maintained in
three ways; Prison industrial complex, Imprisoning and killing black leaders in the 60s & 70s,
and through the pressure to take a plea bargain. The film does not only give the audience a
factual understand of Mass incarceration and injustice in America but it gives a visually
captivating understanding. It's not solely numbers and words but true testimonies from the ones
that experienced it first hand.
The Prison Industrial Complex is a linear connection to modern day slavery. It is the
government and industry uses of imprisonment, policing and surveillance that benefits them
economically. The documentary is named “13” after the United States 13th amendment which
grants freedom to All Humans, but there is a loophole. It grants freedom to all humans except if
they have committed a crime. The system of slavery economically upheld the USA, After the
13th amendment was enacted and slavery was legally abolished there was a need for a new
system so Jim Crow Law was created. Jim Crow Laws were laws enforced to racially segregate
black people from white people. Many black people were being arrested for minor offenses such as loitering and vagrancy and taken to prison with no trial or representation. Instead of slavery
they called it convict leasing In prison they would do all the work they did as slaves and would
continue to uphold the economic system of the united states.
The 1960s and 70s were a time of revolution, leadership and declaration for basic human
rights. Much like today except the differences lies within leadership the movements today have
no leaders only the people. What they did to keep racial hierarchy was to rid an entire generation
their leaders. The movements were seen as threats to the entire government and industry system.
People such as Martin Luther King Jr, Angela Davis, Malcolm X and etc were on FBI most
wanted list or highly survelliance. The FBI murdered the Chicago Black Panther Leader Fred
Hampton they shot his entire house up and killed him while he was in bed with his pregnant
wife. He was a big threat to them because he spoke about uniting the people no matter the color
of their skin but that the fight was everyone's. They framed and imprisoned the black intellect
Angela Davis. She was put on trial and imprisoned for a crime that she had no connection too.
They were afraid of her because she was a icon and role model for people all over the world and
they believed they could make a example out of her, by killing her. Many black leaders were
killed one after another in this time period leaving the people with no direction and soon after
came the War on Drugs. The War on drugs began in the 70s and was a intricate part of
destroying black communities throughout the United States. Nixon was president at the time and
declared drug abuse the number one public enemy of America. This war kicked off higher
surveillance and abuse of black communities and was a sure way to fill jails with black men.
The Justice system plays one of the biggest parts in the black communities demise. The
documentary states that 95% of prosecutors are white. When many black people were taken to jail they are bullied and manipulated into taking plea bargains. They are told they will get less
time if they take the plea bargain than if they go to trial. If everyone got a trial the justice system
would fall a apart. Laws were set in place to such as Three Strikes and you’re out these type of
laws made it easier to imprison people. Stop and Frisk allowed police officers to stop anyone for
anything with no probable cause. These laws kept prisons filled and have taken part in
endangering many communities.
I believe racial hierarchy is upheld through our education system. We are no longer being
taught by ourselves about ourselves. 80% of teachers are white woman this is a detriment to
young children's minds and development are being molded by people that will not understand
them in a culturally, emotionally or mentally. The history taught in the school system is
inaccurate because it solely highlights the eurocentric views of the world and when students are
taught about their past it either focuses on the most negative parts or is watered down. When you
don’t know where you come from you have no clear idea of where you’re going. My mother and
father gave me something I’m very grateful for, access to the vast spectrum of my history and
culture. I believe that's a big part of where my confidence and self love comes from. Its because
of my history that I know myself better. This school system teaches you nothing about yourself it
only teaches you about dead white men and they way the conquered lands and wrote laws. The
system must be dismantled because if knowledge is power and were being given the wrong
knowledge then our success lays in the hands of the enemy. ...
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- Fall '17
- TIKA BLACKMORE