The Library Resource Center at Xavier University kicked off its 2017 Spring Documentary Film Festival Feb. 8 with Ava DuVernay’s celebrated documentary, 13th.

DuVernay (Selma) weaves the documentary around the 13th Amendment and how it affects African American lives, past and present. The 13th Amendment states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Duvernay points out how the clause “… except as a punishment for crime …” moved African Americans from slaves to imprisoned criminals.

13th traces the exponential increase in the numbers of prisoners in the United States over the course of several decades, and the results are shocking, particularly where incarcerated African Americans are concerned. According to the documentary, an estimated 800,000 African Americans are behind bars today.

Protests continue in the fight against racial injustice in the prison system, which DuVernay details in the documentary.

13th can be viewed on Netflix Here.

The Library Resource Center hosts four more documentaries:
1. Waste Land February 22, 2017 at 3p.m. and February 23, 2017 at 5:30p.m.
2. Half the Sky March 15, 2017 at 3p.m. and March 16, 2017 at 5:30p.m.
3. Maya Angelou: and still I Rise March 29, 2017 at 3p.m. and March 30, 2017 at 5:30p.m.
4. I am because we are April 19, 2017 at 3p.m. and April 20, 2017 at 5:30p.m.

All showings will be in the Library Resource center RM 400F.

More information is online here.

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