Ava DuVernay Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century


The amendment that abolished slavery had a lasting flaw

By Editors' Choice

By Peniel E. Joseph— This week marks the 155th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution that banned racial slavery. At the time this marked a new birth of American freedom, one that came at a such a high cost — and remains so incomplete — that many Americans tend to gloss over the contemporary challenges left in its wake. The end of 2020 also…

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Central Park 5 Casts a Hideous Glare on the Wrongful Conviction Epidemic

Central Park 5 Casts a Hideous Glare on the Wrongful Conviction Epidemic

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson — The Central Park 5 has been the textbook poster case for the one thing that has consistently and horribly racially disfigured America’s criminal justice system. That’s the stain of wrongful convictions. The 5 have the happy and tragic distinction of being the most celebrated wrongfully convicted prisoners released from prison but in the decade since their exoneration and release hundreds of other prisoners with much…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Injustice Revealed and Dramatized

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Julianne Malveaux  — Many know them as the Central Park Five, but filmmaker Ava DuVernay forces to us see the five wrongfully convicted men as individuals. Their names are names we must remember, as individual, courageous, principled Black and Brown men. They are Korey Wise, Raymond Santana, Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, and Kevin Richardson. DuVernay’s new Netflix mini-series, “When They See Us”, ask what “they” see when they see…

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Ava DuVernay’s Documentary ’13TH’

By Video/Audio

In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom. The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary 13TH 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…

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