13th – The Must-See Documentary That Examines Modern Day American Slavery

BY: - 24 Oct '16 | Entertainment

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Despite what you may believe, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution never ended slavery. It simply morphed the institution into a more palatable reincarnation that continues to this day to profit off the labor of people of color.

That’s the argument deftly crafted by award-winning director Ava DuVernay in her new film 13th, available on Netflix.

Following the Civil War and the emancipation of the slaves, the South was left in shambles. Worse yet, it was now without the source of the free labor that had been key to its economic success.

“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.” – 13th Amendment to US Constitution

Yet, the South quickly took advantage of a loophole to gain access to free labor. The 13th Amendment allowed for the involuntary servitude of those convicted of crimes.

Quickly, an embittered white populace convicted former slaves on minor offenses. These often unsubstantiated charges led to the “legal” mass incarceration of thousands of newly freed slaves. And this population was leased by government entities to all varieties of industries, from cotton picking to mining. This convict leasing system persisted for a generation or more and paved the way for the modern prison industrial complex.

Throughout our history, DuVernay argues that society has created a subconscious characterization of black males as hyper-sexual criminals, which has provided psychological justification for a system that currently incarcerates one-fourth of the world’s prison population. When we are brainwashed to believe that black males are predators, we no longer question the morality of a prison system that overwhelming imprisons people of color.

And this indoctrination of black male criminality has been around for generations. DuVernay points out that the original The Birth of a Nation, a film which is considered the “Star Wars” of its day, blatantly portrayed black men as sex-starved savages. In one scene, a white woman throws herself off a cliff to avoid being raped by a pursuing black man.

Nixon’s war on drugs specifically targeted African Americans as revealed by Nixon advisor John Ehrlichman:

“We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Ronald Reagan’s war on drugs continued the persecution of blacks as criminals with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. Under the law, those dealing crack were sentenced more harshly than those dealing cocaine. Crack was generally preferred by inner-city users while cocaine was preferred in the white suburbs. The law saw an explosion in the number of blacks sent to prison.

In the 1990’s, President Clinton’s Crime Bill added fuel to the fire. Its increased funding for prisons and “three strikes” mandatory life sentences served to shackle many non-violent offenders with lifetime sentences.

Today, the United States incarcerates more than 2.3 million people, the highest incarceration rate in the world. A black male now has a 1 in 3 lifetime chance of being incarcerated while a white male has just a 1 in 17 chance of being incarcerated.

All the while private companies are making substantial profits building and staffing prisons while companies from Victoria Secret to Boeing have taken advantage of prison laborers who make pennies an hour working in modern day sweat shops. Slavery is in fact still alive.

Du Vernay’s 13th is a riveting but sober look at the evolution of our mass incarceration movement, and an even more powerful indictment of a country that has so demonized black maleness that Americans have become immune to the plight of our prison populations. Catch 13th on Netflix today.
Catch the trailer below:

BMWK, did you see 13th yet? What were your thoughts?

About the author

Alonzo Peters wrote 291 articles on this blog.

Alonzo Peters is founder of MochaMoney.com, a personal finance website dedicated to helping Black America achieve financial independence.

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Almost Christmas: A Holiday Crab Quiche Recipe that Your Entire Family Will Love!

BY: - 7 Nov '16 | Entertainment

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My entire family is coming to my house in Georgia for Thanksgiving this year. This includes my mom and dad, my sister, my 16-year-old twin nieces, my 23- and 24-year-old nephews (and their girlfriends, too), my 23-year-old son (who decided that if his cousins are bringing their girlfriends, then his girlfriend is coming, too) and a host of other people that I don’t even know about yet.

So, when you throw in my husband, his mother, my three youngest girls, and me, we are definitely going to have a house full people. And I already know that with this crew, (so far totaling 18 people), I am in for a lot of shenanigans.  This is why I am soooo looking forward to the movie Almost Christmas, which hits theaters on November 11th.

Funk runs in the family. #AlmostChristmas

A video posted by Almost Christmas (@almostchristmasmovie) on

Almost Christmas is a story of a beloved patriarch (played by Danny Glover) who asks his family for one gift this holiday season—just one gift. And that’s to “act like a family.”

But if they can honor that wish and spend five days under the same roof together without killing one another, then it seems this will be a Christmas miracle. And I know it’s going to be hilarious with the all-star cast, which is led by Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps, Danny Glover, Romany Malco, Mo’Nique, Nicole Ari Parker, J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Jessie Usher and DC Young Fly—all of my favorite actors and actresses!

The food better be on point

Needless to say, I can relate to the movie’s plot—and even more so now that I’m hosting my family Thanksgiving. Did I mention that this is the first time I have ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner on my own?

I am especially nervous because the food better be on point, or I am definitely going to hear about it (the turkey isn’t the only thing that will get roasted if the food is nasty…lol.)

And since we all grew up in the Tidewater area of Virginia, we have to incorporate some sort of seafood into our meal. So I have this delicious crab quiche recipe that is soooooo super easy to make and is perfect for breakfast or dinner.

Oh…and this is a recipe that tastes even better the next day, so you can prepare it ahead of time and just warm it up for your meal.  And you might ask, what makes this a holiday recipe?  Well, the fact that it has crabmeat in it (which can be kind of pricey depending on where you live) makes it a recipe that I only make on holidays and special occasions.

Holiday Crab Quiche Recipe that the Entire Family Will LOVE

Quiche

This recipe makes one crab quiche and takes about 15 minutes to prepare and about 40 minutes to cook. I normally double it to make two quiches because my family loves it, and they are greedy, too.  I love it because it is so simple, easy and fast to make—and it will make you the hero of any family function this holiday season.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup of crabmeat
  • 1 cup of diced Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green onions
  • seasonings to taste (salt, pepper and I add a little Old Bay seasoning, though this recipe is full of flavor without)
  • 1 deep dish pie shell
 Uni_AC_Pinterest_CrabQuiche_01

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350F degrees
  2. Mix eggs, mayo, flour and heavy whipping cream
  3. Add cheese, crab meat and green onions
  4. Season to taste
  5. Add mixture to the deep dish pie crust

Getting my mind right before they arrive

So, my mom is calling me every day to ask about the sleeping arrangements and the menu.  But I don’t have answers for her because I am still not in the right mind-frame for planning this family function yet.  So, I am definitely going to go see Almost Christmas on November 11th to have a great laugh and to put me in a more festive holiday spirit.

Almost Christmas Movie Image

Almost Christmas – In Theaters November 11.   Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Watch the Trailer | #AlmostChristmas

BMWK – who’s planning to see Almost Christmas when it hits theaters on November 11th? Do you have any tips for me on hosting Thanksgiving dinner (i.e- recipes or activities?)

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the movie Almost Christmas that premieres this Thursday, November 11, 2016.  All opinions are my own.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 516 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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