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#Docuhistory: 13th


Jun 04 2020


4:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Watch Party, Twitter Conversation & Zoom Discussion

13th by Ava Duvernay

Ava Duvernay's 13th

#Docuhistory with Walter D. Greason, Kevin Gannon, and William Dobbie

Ava DuVernay's documentary film 13th (2016) explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African Americans ... Keep Reading

We invite teachers, parents, and students to use this page to view the film and explore the related resources below as part of their curriculum or home-schooling.

The #docuhistory series aims to create an informal space where teachers, students, and historians can join together to watch a documentary and discuss teaching and learning about the film's subject matter. The series is organized by Joe Schmidt, New York City Department of Education, @HSGlobalHistory, in collaboration with the Forum for Scholars and Publics.

We held a Twitter watch party and Zoom panel discussion of the film on June 4, 2020. You can browse the discussion on Twitter by searching the #docuhistory hashtag or by checking in with discussion moderators Walter D. Greason (@worldprofessor), Kevin Gannon (@TheTattooedProf), and William Dobbie (@wadobbie). Watch the video of the Zoom panel discussion below as well. The resources shared through this conversation have been gathered by Joe Schmidt.


Teaching Ava DuVernay's 13th: #Docuhistory with Walter D. Greason & Kevin Gannon | View the Chat Transcript

In this public conversation from June 4 about teaching 13th, Walter D. Greason and Kevin Gannon join moderator Joe Schmidt of the New York City Department of Education to discuss questions and pedagogical avenues raised by the film.


Resource List

13th (2016) | Watch on Netflix

Teaching About Race, Racism, and Police Violence

Teaching Tolerance 

These resources can help spur much-needed discussion around implicit bias and systemic racism, but they can also empower your students to enact the changes that will create a more just society.

Visit the Site

The Racialization of Crime and Punishment Criminal Justice, Color-Blind Racism, and the Political Economy of the Prison Industrial Complex

By Rose M. Brewer and Nancy A. Heitzeg | American Behavioral Scientist

Read the Article

Bryan Stevenson on the Frustration Behind the George Floyd Protests

By Isaac Chotiner | The New Yorker

The past weekend saw the start of an uprising in dozens of American cities, with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets for peaceful protests and violent encounters with the police.

Keep Reading

Equal Justice Initiative

The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

Visit the Site

Ava DuVernay's 13th Reframes American History

By Juleyka Lantigua-Williams | The Atlantic

In her new documentary, the filmmaker explores how the Thirteenth Amendment led to an epidemic of mass incarceration in the United States.

Read the Article

What Is Prison Abolition?

By John Washington | The Nation

The movement that is trying to think beyond prisons as a tool to solve society's problems.

Read the Article

Mass Incarceration and Its Mystification: A Review of The 13th

By Dan Berger | AAIHS

When prisoners in Alabama last spring proposed a national strike to protest “prison slavery,” they called out the infamous clause in the Thirteenth Amendment. The amendment most known for abolishing slavery included a rider that sanctioned slavery “as punishment for a crime wherein the party shall have been duly convicted.”

Keep Reading


Walter D. Greason

Monmouth University

Dr. Walter D. Greason is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Counseling and Leadership at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. He is also an Honors Dean Emeritus who has published six books in the last decade. His research focuses on slavery, segregation, and…...

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Kevin Gannon

Grand View University

Kevin Gannon is Professor of History and Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. He is the author of Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto (West Virginia University Press) and is currently writing A Continental History of the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras for…...

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William Dobbie

Utica Academy for International Studies

William Dobbie is an International Baccalaureate History and AP World History teacher from Suburban Detroit (Utica Academy for International Studies). 2020 begins his 20th year in public education. He began @histflix/#histflix in March of 2020 to provide a community for students and teachers to connect while making our way through…...

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