A recent online screening of “13th” was discussed as part of the 2021 “From Slavery to Freedom Film Series” presented by the African American Program of the Heinz History Center in partnership with the Frick Environmental Center of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

The panel of legal and historical experts included Attorney Martha Conley; historical activist and branch president Ronald B. Saunders; and University of Pittsburgh Law Professor Jerry Dickinson.

“13th” is documentary by Ava DuVernay that discusses the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allows slavery and incarceration in America based on crime. This produces the prison industrial complex and criminalization of African Americans.

This film challenges to notion of freedom in America and the ramifications of loophole in the Amendment that allowed for re-enslavement in the Jim Crow era and beyond.