One of this site’s goals is to bring attention to books, films, and documentaries that you might have overlooked. There is a lot of great content out there. Sometimes I like to group things based on subject matter, as I did in my recent post about abstract art. This post will point you to hours worth of top-notch storytelling involving slavery, civil rights, and the equal rights movement. There is a bit of overlap, but you won’t go wrong with any of these suggestions.
First up is the six-episode docuseries Lincoln: Divided We Stand. So you think Lincoln was one of the best Presidents in history? The man who put an end to slavery? Not so fast. This docuseries tells the real story of a President who had many flaws, including racism, and whose moral compass shifted over time. Lincoln’s first stab at freeing the slaves was to suggest that they leave the country and go to Central America. The one person whose character, intelligence, and sense of decency rose above all others was Frederick Douglass. Imagine what our country would have looked like had he been elected President. Catch this one on CNN demand.
13th (Review of 13th) – The story behind the thirteenth amendment to the constitution and a history lesson on slavery in the United States. One thing you will learn as you go through this list of docuseries is that ending slavery was no easy task. We fought a war over it where 800,000 Americans lost their lives. Politicians, business leaders, and even the Supreme Court all sided with continuing slavery. Once it was taken away from them, those who profited from slavery did everything they could to continue the practice by whatever means necessary. Catch it on Netflix.
Amend: The Fight For America – Realizing that the 13th amendment didn’t go far enough, the 14th amendment was enacted with the goal of giving equal rights to all Americans. Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, due process, it’s all covered in this two-hour Netflix documentary.