“13th” Documentary, From Slave to Criminal with One Amendment (OP-ED)

By Chántelle Agbro

You know when you’re in the mood to learn and continuously become more aware of the history of Africans and “African-americans”, but are not in the mood to be depressed? But then, you realize that with a history that was not chosen by us, but chosen for us by evil doers, this isn’t actually possible?

Yup, that was me just about a week ago.

The documentary “13th” on Netflix, literally changed my life and my way of thinking even more than it already has been changed within the past three years of my life.

It was disturbing, ruthless, degrading, and so powerful, in that, it broke down to the tee how this country, and systems within this country, were all centered around racism and slavery.

America was built on the backs of slaves…and don’t let anyone else tell you different.

In the documentary, there were parts where it vividly depicted how we were literally portrayed as animals and disgusting creature that were only out to harm and were easily disposable. This is when KKK members were actually portrayed as HEREOS for lynching, burning, raping, and murdering African people.


Our people have gone through generations and generations of inhumane treatment and torture for absolutely no reason. The things that were said and the things that were done are non-justifiable and the scars run deeper than most people realize.

The system, that we’re forced to participate in, this country that we were once forced to join and fight for and put our lives on the line for, is rigged. We were put on the front lines to die first for a country that did not accept us.

As many of our ancestors already knew, the system was created for people of color to deteriorate slowly but surely. Up until then, it was the supposed obligation of the old, racist, bitter and hateful white man to keep us low in numbers.

But something happened, that disrupted their gruesome plan.

We were starting to multiply and became educated, beating the white man in many things that we were told we were not capable of doing. However, once given the opportunity, we finally began to re-build and thrive.

Obviously, KKK members, who are now disguised as some of our police officers and politicians today, didn’t take a liking to it as you can imagine. So now the plan was to strategically design a system to keep us detained, and “in order”, and kill us time and time again.

There was a scene in the movie where it went through the ins and outs of the presidential reigns of both Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Political officials, who are supposedly for all people were caught on tape explaining something called the southern strategy.


This strategy is where things got real. They admitted and explained how you “change” the laws of slavery and equal rights by wording it secretly in the Constitution. The underlying meaning of it all, is as follows. The word used was not “n*gger” directly, but it was “criminal” and it is embedded right there in the Constitution as if it was never to be decoded or depicted for what it truly signified.

The 13th amendment 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, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” 

Now, this is actually crazy. I don’t know about you all, but for me, this is actually insane.

The fact that these amendments have been the law of the land of supposed milk and honey since way before our time, is baffling, but no one seemed to catch that except.

What kind of twisted mess is that?

We are all taught the amendments maybe once or twice when we are really young, and then we never revisit them even though the justification for this new type of slavery is sitting right there in front of our faces. The ploy designed by the devil himself was to keep us distracted, unaware, and unbothered by his works of deceit and demise.

I don’t want to give everything away, because I feel it is very important that people watch for themselves and educate themselves as well as everyone around them on these FACTS!


It is important that we as minorities especially see that the system is literally made for us to fall. We need to acknowledge as a people that racism isn’t dead, and in fact, that’s what this entire country was built on and it is very essential for us to re-build our own people first and foremost.

It is also very important for Caucasian people to support us in our re-building and acknowledge the horrific things that happened in the past and that still occur today behind closed doors.

In loving memory of,

Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and many more.

“You didn’t die in vain and a change is going to come sooner than we all know, wake up!”

– This is Chántelle Agbro, the honest writer.

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