Will Smith's new docuseries harps on America's birth of citizenship
Don't sleep on Amend: The Fight for America. This six-part limited series started streaming on Netflix on February 17 and highlights an important yet hardly talked-about topic of the US Constitution. It is the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which is the main reason why citizenship as Americans know it today, got a prominent mention in their constitution.
The trailer asks who is a US citizen?
The series consists of six one-hour episodes and is hosted by Will Smith, who has also executive-produced the series. The trailer has Smith asking, "What does it mean to be an American?" A commentator then pitches in saying, "The original Constitution is silent on the subject of citizenship." Then, we hear the Constitution lacks a definition of who is or isn't a US citizen.
How racism flourished in America
The show consists of a motley group of artists, activists, and scholars who highlight how such a lack of definition in the Constitution allowed racism to flourish. It was not until the very nature of US citizens was defined at the heart of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified on July 9, 1868. It plugged more loopholes than one would imagine.
Participants read out key clauses of the Constitution
"It is through this definition that all the rights we cherish are granted and defended," says Smith. The thoroughly informative series has participants reading out clauses in the Constitution that were for and against equality, adding context to the contemporary movements. Speaking of such movements, the trailer once freezes on former police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with killing African-American man George Floyd last year.
Series important for productive anti-racism dialogue
The series stars Smith, Mahershala Ali, Sterling K Brown, Daveed Diggs, Helen Hunt, Samuel L Jackson, Pedro Pascal, Randall Park, Ki Hong Lee, Alia Shawkat, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and many more. The series assumes significance in today's corporate US culture, as people are still devoid of productive discussions on anti-racism in workplaces where racial literacy levels are low.