Amend: The Fight for America premiered on 17th February 2021. Directed by Kenny Leon and starring Will Smith as the host for this 6-episode-long journey, the docuseries is enlightening, triggering, strong, scarring, and vital.
It Only It Was This Easy.
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” — The 14th Amendment, ratified on July 9, 1868.
Whenever I think about America, I am instantly taken aback by the supremacist history of the States. Smith does a brilliant job of walking us through the corridors of the fight for equal rights in America, ranging from before the Civil War movements to the Women Rights movement to LGBTQ+ community battles to Immigration Rights movements. The struggle for equality seems to be a never-ending journey. “The 14th Amendment is a promise: protection, equality, due process, and liberty,” says Smith. “We are all human beings, deserving of empathy and dignity,” he added.
The series brings to light an interesting combination of expert interviews, gruesome archival photos, illustrations and documents, and dramatic celebrity readings of historic movements and writings to base its idea of struggle and inequality. Amend: The Fight for America does not sugar coat historical figures into their heroic images, one of the major examples being Abraham Lincoln, a man who abolished slavery but initially aggressively pushed for the colonization of Blacks in America.
We are reminded of known and lesser-known American heroes such as Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg but at the same time, the series also takes us back to the villains or the White supremacists who denied human rights to Black people like Justice Roger Taney, President Andrew Johnson, Bull Connor, and more. Amend: The Fight for America leaves no place for false claims or misinformation.
After talking for 3-episodes about Black oppression, the Civil War and its aftermath and the value of the 14th Amendment, the series carries forward the Amendment into the arena of Women’s Right, Intersectional oppression of Black women, LGBTQ+ community oppression, and the promise for protection of immigrants which is often disregarded. The series, in its short duration, covers various aspects of the Acts (Like the Equal Rights Amendment Act), the demands, the response of whites and the rulers, and the outcome and it is amazingly set in the narrative.
Amend: The Fight for America, for the most part, is flawless while at some places there are funny elements in the narrative that sets out to call on the flaws and times it seems a bit unnecessary. Regardless, keeping the last point aside, the series is perfect and within its set boundaries, it establishes what it aims for. The 14th Amendment is one of the most misunderstood, used, and played around part of the constitution of the US, and even with its perks for the longest of times the Amendment either wasn’t accepted or wasn’t practised.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Amend: The Fight for America is an informative and thought-provoking series that has made brilliant use of narrative structures, archival footages, and testimonies making the series strong enough to speak the truth as harshly as it needs to be heard. The series takes viewers through American history and encourages them to question what “United States” really means and does it stand by its name?
Amend: The Fight for America is now streaming on Netflix .
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