12 Years a Slave and Fruitvale Station Essay

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What is law? The dictionary defines it as a system of rules that a community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and may be enforced by the imposition of penalties. Are they supposed to be perfect? No. But quoting civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, “an unjust law is no law at all”, proves that there is more to the legal system than just regulating it. The civil rights movement played a huge role in American culture. It opened the public’s perceptions on how there are some elementary social rights and equality rights that needed to be encountered in order for justice to be truthful. Through analysis of present day motion pictures that stem from American history such as “12 Years A Slave” and “Fruitvale…show more content…
At that time slaves had no rights and were treated as property. According to Jenny B. Wahl (1996), from 1820 to 1860 there were over an estimated two hundred thousand slaves per decade that were moved from the upper south states like Washington and Virginia, to the lower southern states such as Mississippi, and Louisiana. The migration of all the slaves took place through trade rather than moving them. (pg. 143) In comparison slaves were just as respected as livestock. The devaluation of the slaves’ life showed that there were some problems pertaining to the virtuous side of the law. The importance of this movie showed that even though you were a free man you still had to prove you freedom. And the way that any African American had to do this is by having documentation from an official that vouches for the freedom of that individual. In the movie there was a scene in which a friend of Mr. Northup physically came to where he was and showed documentation that proved he was not a slave but a free man. The documents to prove a person’s freedom were called certification of freedom. According to the studies from the University of Pittsburgh: “Free Black people still faced danger. Many appeared in court to ask for a Certificate of Freedom. The claimant had to prove that he/she was born free or had been previously freed. If the court was satisfied, it would

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