Entertainment'Amend' brings Will Smith's starry touch to the 14th...

‘Amend’ brings Will Smith’s starry touch to the 14th Amendment’s tumultuous history

-

Enacted in 1868, the 14th Amendment has become one of the most-litigated amendments in US history. Its key provisions, promising equal protection for all persons, have proven remarkably elastic, becoming the foundation not only for civil rights but women’s rights, marriage equality (both involving mixed-race and gay couples) and immigrants.

“Amend” employs multiple methods in bringing that history to life and powerfully connecting it to the battles of the 21st century, with the rise of extremist forces rooted in white supremacy. Those narrative wrinkles include animation and dramatic readings, with a gaudy list of actors like Mahershala Ali and Samuel L. Jackson presenting the words of Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr., respectively.

The early episodes take a deep dive into Reconstruction, the rise of Ku Klux Klan and the Jim Crow era installing a form of “legal apartheid,” as NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund president Sherrilyn Ifill notes.

The timeliest material charts a direct path from the racial backlash then into the heart of modern politics, detailing the importance of the Supreme Court in codifying (and later overturning) discrimination, the use of “home-grown American terrorism” against African-Americans and the extent to which violence was used to mount “a political counter-revolution against Reconstruction,” as historian David Blight explains.

The project also cites the erection of Confederate monuments and efforts to romanticize slavery as “the lost cause” not only in Southern legislatures but in movies and media, from “The Birth of a Nation” through “Gone With the Wind.”

READ  'Bros is again': Luke Goss on his Christmas movie and making up with Matt

The fourth chapter segues from civil rights to expansion of 14th Amendment protections to women — “stepchildren” of the amendment as originally drafted — followed by marriage and immigrants, including a particularly wrenching look at the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882.

READ  Jesy Nelson thanks followers for assist following Little Combine departure

“Amend” is a significant undertaking in its scope, and the roster of celebrity talent assembled is impressive and eclectic. The one misstep lies in Smith’s folksy transitions, which seem tailored to a school-age audience. Granted, it would be great if kids watched this, but the “Schoolhouse Rock” tone he adopts feels out of step with the other voices telling this story.

Netflix nevertheless deserves considerable credit for lending its muscle to this civics-minded exercise and creating a home for such fare beyond PBS.

“Amend” shines a light on America’s history of inequality, and the 150-year-plus struggle to remedy that as it has played out in the courts and the streets. It’s a reminder that securing the protections granted by the 14th Amendment — like America itself — remains very much a work in progress.

“Amend: The Fight for America” premieres Feb. 17 on Netflix.

Latest news

BTC Worth Predictions At present and for the Future

It wasn't so way back that the value of Bitcoin reached a brand new file excessive. It went previous...

Things To Do Before You Apply For A Debt Consolidation Loan

There comes a time in most of our lives when we need a loan. Whether it’s to repair a...

Twitter blocks posts in India critical of Narendra Modi’s Covid-19 response

In a statement Sunday, India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said it had asked Twitter (TWTR), Facebook...

Chadwick Boseman didn’t win the best actor Oscar

They may want to consider a reshoot of the ending.Chadwick Boseman had been heavily favored to win in...

See all the Oscar winners

Below is a complete list of nominees. Check back for updates on all the winners throughout the night."Mank""Minari""Nomadland""Promising...

At least 82 killed in massive Baghdad hospital fire

Another 110 people were injured in the blaze at Ibn al-Khatib Hospital, according to ministry spokesman Major General...

Must read

BTC Worth Predictions At present and for the Future

It wasn't so way back that the value of...

Things To Do Before You Apply For A Debt Consolidation Loan

There comes a time in most of our lives...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

Translate »
Skip to toolbar
Read previous post:
Analysis: Norway, the UK and Canada are not climate champions. They are climate hypocrites

Many countries produce fossil fuels despite committing to combat climate change. But Canada, Norway and the UK stand out because...

Close