Screening of ’13th’ at CHS for Middle and High School Students Nov 7

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13th, the Netflix documentary about race and mass incarceration, will be screened at Columbia High School on Monday evening, November 7 for local middle and high school students.

The documentary film, by Selma director Ava DuVernay, is generating Oscar buzz; at least one clip from the film (related to Donald Trump) has gone viral; and the film has a local connection: South Orange resident Khalil Muhammad (husband to South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad) is interviewed in the film.

The title “13th” refers to the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that abolished slavery in 1865.

The Guardian writes:

The Netflix project examines why the US has produced the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with the majority of those imprisoned being African American. The title of the film refers to the 13th amendment to the constitution: “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.”

Beginning with DW Griffith’s technically groundbreaking but profoundly racist 1915 film The Birth of a Nation, The 13th is reported to take in the civil rights movement, the 1994 Crime Bill, which extended the death penalty and encouraged states to lengthen prison sentences, and the surge of the Black Lives Matter movement. It [made] its debut … at the New York film festival, the first non-fiction film to ever do so. The festival director and selection committee chair, Kent Jones, has said in a statement that The 13th is a “great film” and “an act of true patriotism”.

Related to the current election cycle, the film has criticism for both major party candidates. While Hillary Clinton (along with husband Bill) is criticized for supporting the 1994 crime bill, it is the mid-century Civil Rights-era footage juxtaposed with Donald Trump’s stump speech that is particularly chilling (see below).

All CHS, Maplewood Middle School and South Orange Middle School students are invited. The screening begins at 6 p.m. with a student/youth open mic to follow the film.

Monday, Nov. 7th
6-9pm (Doors Open at 5:30 p.m.)
Columbia High School Auditorium
17 Parker Ave.
Maplewood, N.J. 07040

According to a flier for the event, “Educators and members of law enforcement are encouraged to attend in a viewing and listening capacity only.’

The screening is sponsored by SOMSD Student Coalition: Black Student Union (BSU), MAC Scholars, M.L.K.Association, Diversity Rocks, P.O.W.E.R., and SOMS Social Action Club.

Adults 25 and over should RSVP to

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