If you haven't watched 13th by now, you're missing out. 13th, directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma), is a Netflix documentary about mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex and so much more. This documentary has topics that my friends, family and I have had endless discussions about. I think it is something that is well known within our community and other minority communities, but not by the majority. 13th talks about and explains issues that minorities, especially Black Men, face everyday. These things happen so often that they are normal and have become normal. I expect to be followed while shopping in a clothing store or asked repeatedly if i need helped. I have become accustomed to having things assumed about me that aren't true. It all apart of my everyday life.
I believe this film is an eye opener for many people. There are many experiences that minorities face in this country that are often overlooked or dismissed as not important by most of the population. It highlights issues that family, friends and myself face all the time. I think it is important for people to realize the impact that slavery, the 13th amendment, and laws in this country have on minorities. We hear all the time, "just work hard" or "you have the same opportunity as me". It may seem like we do, but we don't. We are setup at a disadvantage from the start. I heard all the time growing up "You have to be twice as good". From a young age I could see what my parents meant by that. It's sad to think about but it is very true.
I encourage you to see this film. If you have seen it already, share it with you family and friends. People talk about change all the time, but change doesn't come without action. It's up to us to make the change and not just talk about it.