Please join us for the first event in our new Attention series:
A discussion of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary 13TH.
The title refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “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.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity.
This is not envisioned as an organizing event, nor is it in direct response to the election. The purpose of this film screening is primarily to listen. The goal is to listen to the myriad black educators and influencers in this film and internalize the message of DuVernay’s filmmaking and Michele Alexander’s writing and to consider what it means for building a foundation for anti-racist work where black lives matter and black voices are amplified.
The film will be followed by a short discussion of the themes and policies presented in the film, facilitated by Christina Cameron.
All are welcome! Please be aware that there are some very violent images in this film and it is not appropriate for children.
About our discussion facilitator:
Christina was born, raised, and currently lives in Durham. She works at a Durham nonprofit and is a vendor at The Makery. She is an intersectional feminist, a follower of liberation leadership and a lifelong learner. She first got a taste of activism while living in the Netherlands and getting involved with a group that encouraged radical living and publicly and creatively making stands against issues such as the treatment of refugees, human trafficking and corporate environmental exploitation. She considers Durham her community and loves watching it birth liberation and justice movements that are changing the world.
For me, the goal of watching 13th, a film by a black director which expands on the work of black educators such as Michele Alexander and Marc Lamont Hill, is to internalize its messages and process them verbally and move into productive discomfort. This is best stated by an excerpt from Chris Crass' book Towards the 'Other America:'
"We need messages and leadership to help build the capacity of white people to stay in discomfort, to stay in the dis-ease to truly hear and listen to the voices and experiences of black people, with the goal of putting raised consciousness into action against racism."