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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Did the 13th Amendment end slavery? Find out on Sunday


You probably never have read the text of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Aside from Constitutional lawyers and a few lawmakers, few of us have.

Here is the complete text of Section 1 of the Amendment: "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, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

And here is Section 2: "Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

Ratified on Dec. 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment put an official end to the practice of slavery, a process that President Abraham Lincoln had initiated in 1863 with his executive order — the Emancipation Proclamation (which had freed only those slaves in the Confederate States).

But don't take just my word for this. On Sunday at 6 p.m. the Magic Lantern, the Meaningful Movies Project — along with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane and the Magic Lantern itself — will present a screening of "13th," Ava DuVernay's 2016 Oscar-nominated documentary feature.

In addition to examining the history of the Amendment itself, DuVernay's film asks a pertinent question: Did the 13th Amendment truly end slavery in America? That's a topic likely to be addressed in a post-screening panel discussion featuring several area civil-rights proponents.

Panelists scheduled to participate include Carmen Pacheco-Jones, chair of the Spokane Regional Law & Justice Racial Equity Committee; Dora "Duaa-Rahemaah" Williams, YWCA Racial & Social Justice Committee; Curtis Hampton, Spokane Community Against Racism (SCAR); Kurtis Robinson, Spokane NAACP President; and Kiantha Duncan, Empire Health Foundation, Spokane NAACP.

Regarding the film itself, New York Times critic Manohla Dargis hailed it this way: "Powerful, infuriating and at times overwhelming, Ava DuVernay’s documentary '13th' will get your blood boiling and tear ducts leaking."

Admission to the screening is free (though a donation is suggested).

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