1. She says this to Oprah Winfrey in an interview that accompanies the film. [return to text]

2. The racial dimension of voter-suppression is expertly illuminated by journalist Greg Palast. See his 2016 book and dvd, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. http://www.gregpalast.com/

3. Report of The Sentencing Project to the United Nations Human Rights Committee Regarding Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System, August 2013 (http://sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Race-and-Justice-Shadow-Report-ICCPR.pdf), p. 1.

4. See Alice Speri, “The Largest Prison Strike in U.S. History Enters Its Second Week,”
https://theintercept.com/2016/09/16/the-largest-prison-strike-in-u-s-history-enters-its-second-week/ Abolition of prison-slavery is a central demand of the “millions4prisoners” march planned for August 19, 2017.

5. Michelle Alexander, who is extensively interviewed in 13th, describes how Nixon hatched the war on drugs, in The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New York: New Press, 2012), pp. 40ff. The political agenda underlying the drug war is discussed in Mumia Abu-Jamal and Johanna Fernández, eds., The Roots of Mass Incarceration: Locking up Black Dissidents and Punishing the Poor, special issue of Socialism and Democracy (November 2014), http://sdonline.org/back-issues/#66

6. Jed S. Rakoff, “Why Innocent People Plead Guilty,” New York Review of Books, November 20, 2014,

7. Steve Martinot, “Probing the Epidemic of Police Murders,” Socialism and Democracy (March 2013), http://sdonline.org/back-issues/#61/

8. See Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “The Abuse Goes On: The Corrupting Dynamics of Power in a Texas Prison” (2017), http://rashidmod.com/?p=2374  Regarding the assumption that extreme methods must be used to maintain order, see the extraordinary memoir by Jamie Bissonette et al., When the Prisoners Ran Walpole (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2008).

9. Report in Miami Herald, June 25, 2014,  http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article1972693.html An official investigation concluded in 2017 that no charges should be brought against the responsible officers. https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/darren-rainey-was-tortured-and-killed-by-prison-guards-at-dade-correctional-institution-in-florida

10. For reports by Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, see http://rashidmod.com/?page_id=166 For reports by Keith “Malik” Washington, a leader of the anti-slavery drive, see http://sfbayview.com/?s=keith+malik+washington

11. Albert Woodfox, recently released from Angola Prison in Louisiana, was held in solitary for 43+ years. Kevin “Rashid” Johnson has been in solitary, in four different state systems, for most of his 25+ years of incarceration. For a brief overview of the practice, which routinely victimizes over 80,000 prisoners in the US, see http://solitarywatch.com/facts/faq/