Human Rights Commission Commemorates Black History Month with "The 13th" Documentary Viewing

Experience Ava DuVernay's grippingly powerful The 13th, a documentary reframing the intersection of race and the monetization of mass incarceration. The film centers on the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution which abolishes slavery, with the exception of forced labor for convicted criminals.

Brian Lowry, CNN film critic, states that "The 13th builds a compelling case for how after the Civil War racial division historically served the needs of political elites, and how coded language and policies . . . advanced those objectives." The film includes interviews with Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, CNN commentator Van Jones, former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gringrich, and activist and scholar Angela Davis.

Ms. DuVernay's The 13th is the first documentary to premiere on the opening night of the New York Film Festival. The film also received the Critics Choice Documentary Awards for Best Director and Best Documentary Feature for 2016. Ms. DuVernay is best known for her Oscar-nominated film, Selma. 

The 13th will be shown free of charge at Yes Cinema on Tuesday, February 7, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by community dialogue and discussion. All are welcome. 

This event is brought to you by the Columbus Human Rights Commission, African American Fund, Bartholomew County NAACP, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbus, Indiana, Interfaith Forum Columbus, African American Pastors Alliance, Showing Up for Racial Justice, and Black Lives Matter of Columbus. 

This film is a documentary and has no rating, per Motion Picture Association of America. The Columbus Human Rights Commission received a free group screening waiver. Parents, please be aware there is strong language and adult life situations. Common Sense Media, an independent nonprofit organization, rated this film 5/5 stars.

For more information, please contact the Human Rights Commission via phone at (812) 376-2532 or e-mail to


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