film 13th assignment - George Gjelaj Iona College 132...

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George Gjelaj Iona College 132 Nov-23-2019 Film “13th” Paper Throughout the 17th and 18th century, people of African American descent were kidnapped from the continent of Africa, forced into slavery in the American colonies and exploited to work as indentured servants and labor in the production of crops such as tobacco and cotton. By the mid-19th century, America’s westward expansion and the abolition movement encouraged a great debate over slavery that would tear the nation apart in the Civil War. Ever since the Union defeated the Confederates in the Civil War and allowed all slaves in America to be free, the 13th amendment was passed by Congress in the Constitution which abolished slavery. The 13th amendment made it unconstitutional for someone to be held as a slave, granted freedom to all Americans except for people who are punished for crimes and has put a great impact on the Criminal Justice System in a way as well. Because the 13th amendment did not give freedom to prisoners, it allowed the United States to take tons of people’s freedom away simply by putting them in prison for committing crimes. According to the 13th Film , the movie pointed out that America has the biggest prison population in the world and most of these prisoners are African Americans. One-fourth of the US population are also prisoners. After the Civil War ended, the Southern economy was so bad that they had to find ways of putting tons of African Americans in prison to use them for labor. One way how African Americans were put in jail was due to minor crimes such as loitering or
vagrancy. At the time, most of the African American population were poor so they could not afford to pay these fines which put them in jail. Many rumors were spread by white people saying that African Americans were out of control and they were violent towards women. All

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