Ava DuVernay undertook the documentary “13th” in order to explore and bring attention to the Prison Industrial Complex. The film’s title refers to the 1865 amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in which slavery was abolished “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” The story told by “13th” thus goes back to the early chain-gangs of Black prisoners – men arrested for petty offenses under the post-Civil War Black Codes who were then contracted out to perform labor that they had previously performed as privately-owned slaves.
The love affair between Black folks and the Clintons has been going on for a long time. It began back in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president. What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about Black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization and the disappearance of work? No. Quite the opposite.
Coming as the Bay View print edition goes to press is the shocking and tragic news that Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, 66, has died. With our deepest sympathy for his family and city, we send our hope that Jackson, Miss., will continue to rise. Believing that Mayor Lumumba’s plan is the best way to economic justice, peace and prosperity for every city, we carry on with our plan to publish “Jackson Rising” to encourage Jackson to carry out Lumumba’s mission, making Jackson a model for the nation. Tributes to the beloved Mayor Lumumba coming soon.