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Amend: The Fight for America (A Netflix Original Documentary Series )

Amend: The Fight for America is a six-part docuseries that explores the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution - which promised liberty and equal protection for all persons in 1868 - as America’s most enduring hallmark of democracy. Amend  has a groundbreaking narrative format that features luminary performers (including Mahershala Ali, Diane Lane, Samuel L. Jackson, Pedro Pascal and Yara Shahidi) reciting speeches and writings by the Fourteenth Amendment’s most ardent protectors (from Frederick Douglass to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) with insights from an inclusive array of contemporary thought-leaders and experts. Executive-produced and hosted by Oscar-nominated actor Will Smith, and executive-produced by Emmy-winning writer Larry Wilmore, Amend is a powerful, multimedia journey through American history that encourages viewers to question what a “united states” really means.

Amend:​ The Fight for America ​​explores the Fourteenth Amendment ​of the U.S. Constitution with fascinating insights into the champions and challengers of this crucial set of freedoms and​ America’s most enduring hallmark of democracy.​ Ratified by the Senate in 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment​ granted citizenship to all persons “born or naturalized in the United States,” including formerly enslaved people, and “equal protection under the laws.” And yet this amendment has proven to be America’s most elusive, most broadly litigated and most profound source of pain and hope for the millions of people of color and other marginalized groups who - whether facing discrimination by police, employers or in schools – seek the highest ideals of life, liberty and equality as promised them by the Constitution.

Executive-produced by Emmy-winning writer Larry Wilmore and Oscar-nominated actor Will Smith, who also hosts the docuseries, ​Amendenlightens, entertains and challenges what Americans think they know – and don’t — about their own history and how the Fourteenth still informs and inspires citizens’ unwavering fight for equality.

 

Aided by insights from an inclusive array of experts in history, politics, the law and culture, each episode ofAmend​ dissects the timeline from the Civil War to present-day and the hundreds of heroes, legal milestones, tragedies and triumphs that have defined America’s tumultuous fight for equality.

Among these experts are S​herrilyn Ifill​, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Bryan Stevenson,​ founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; D​avid Blight​, Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian; Brittany Packnett Cunningham​, former executive director for Teach for America in St. Louis, Missouri; ​Vanita Gupta,​ Associate Attorney General nominee; ​Kimberlé Crenshaw​, professor of law at the University of California Los Angeles and Columbia University; Dr. Khalil Muhammad,​ professor of history, race, and public policy at Harvard University; Garrett Epps,​ professor of law at the University of Baltimore; and many others.

Also charged with bringing A​mendto life is an unprecedented roster of on-screen performers who read and perform some of America's most compelling moments of resistance in the face of oppression, including: two-time Oscar-winner ​Mahershala Ali​ as abolitionist Frederick Douglass; Emmy-winner ​Samira Wiley​ as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg; Oscar-nominee ​Samuel L. Jackson​ as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; Oscar-nominee​ Diane Lane​ as Chief Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren; Emmy-nominee ​Laverne Cox​ as author James Baldwin; actress ​Yara Shahidi as abolitionist and women’s rights activist Harriet Jacobs;​ and dozens of other critically-acclaimed artists of theater, television and film.

Amend ​’s unique blending of documentary and theatre – and Smith’s effortless, relatable turn as the series’ on-screen guide – make for a powerful, multimedia journey through the U.S.’ long-fractured relationship with marginalized citizens. The series encourages viewers of all ages and backgrounds to question everything they’ve learned, absorbed and taken as truth; and the responsibility incumbent upon each of us to protect our most fragile, yet most defining characteristic as Americans: the constitutionally-guaranteed right to equal protections and freedoms promised by the Fourteenth Amendment.