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Amend: The Fight for America

The Union may have won the military victory during the Civil War, but racist southerners won the cultural war. Even after a hundred years since the 14th Amendment became law, many Americans had to fight for their right to be seen as equal by their states and the federal government. Amend: The Fight for America shares the stories of the many Americans who stood for and even died for equality.

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Netflix

Fredrick Douglass

At first, I was thrown off by the actor who was quoting Fredrick Douglass because he looks nothing like him but, then there was Pedro Pascal as Abraham Lincoln and other Hollywood stars quoting people of different ages, sex, and race. Samuel L. Jackson portrayed Martin Luther King Jr. well, but at no point did he say, “I’m sick of these motherfucking racists on this motherfucking continent!”

Fredrick Douglass is remembered as the greatest speaker of the 19th century. He could give a speech to a huge crowd and change their hearts and opinions with his amazing words. He will always be remembered as an early champion for civil rights, but I don’t think most people realize what a bad-ass he was. One day, while his master, who was also most likely his father, was giving young Douglass a beating. He decided then and there that he wasn’t going to take it anymore! While Maryland and his master viewed him as property, he was in fact a free man! He then beat the shit out of his master and told him that if the other slaves found out about it that he would lose face, so they’d both never speak of it again. He ran away and published his book which would only put a huge target on his back for southern slave catchers. He even tried to get a commission as an officer in the Union Army which the president was in favor of, but the army would not allow.

Heavy Weight Champion

How would you feel if you won the belt for the UFC heavyweight, but Dana White told you that you are in fact the champion, but your prize money and belt would actually go to the loser? Well, that’s what happened after the Civil War. The 14th Amendment had passed and slavery was outlawed but terrorist groups like the KKK, racist politicians, and a corrupt Supreme Court made it a worthless gesture. It wasn’t until Martin Luther King Jr. and his brilliant strategy of non-violent disobedience helped to end Jim Crow. If I had a time machine, I’d really love to take Will Smith, the main narrator of the series, and Martin Luther King Jr. back in time to meet Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. They would have a lot to talk about and it would make for the most epic podcast of all time.

Equality for All

This Netflix original series doesn’t just focus on the struggle of black Americans, but all Americans who had to fight for their rights. It begins with the Civil War and leads all the way up to the present day. There are some people, that sadly, I’d never heard of until watching this documentary six-part series. It doesn’t matter what religion, sex, race, or orientation you are because the United States Constitution gives you unalienable rights even if you are NOT a citizen. It’s important that we know our rights and the heroes who gave everything to make our rights a reality. History and Civics teachers will be assigning Amend: The Fight for America to their students as required viewing for many years to come.

THE LIBERATOR: The true story of the most racially diverse unit of WWII

This four part miniseries is like The Dirty Dozen mixed with Band of Brothers with Scanner Darkley‘s animation style and seems too good of a story to be true, but it is based on a true story.

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It starts off with a young lieutenant tasked with getting J company ready for a live fire drill. When he finds it, he see’s that the J stood for jail. He gives the men the choice of staying locked up or to train with him.

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When training at the firing range a massive bully of a master sergeant heavily berates his men so he suggests that rather than talking down to them maybe he should actually do his job and teach them.

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This pisses the master sergeant off so much he invites the lieutenant for a fist fight behind the shed. This brawl earns him the men’s respect.

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One of the American soldiers gets captured by the Nazis who looks at the names of some of the dog tags he’s aquired noticing most men have Mexican and Native American names. The Nazi suggests that America must be desperate to recruit men like that and the captured soldier defends his brothers saying they are Americans just like him. The Nazi officer tells him he has been to America. He studied at MIT and had traveled to the south and had seen signs barring Mexicans from bars and seperate water fountains for blacks and whites wisely asks why men would die for a country that treats them as second class citizens and tells him they are not like him.

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I thought the animation over real actors was just an effect for the opening credits, but the whole series was done with it. It was weird at first, but it’s such a good story that it didn’t bother me after a while. Infact I think it helps the audience focus on the men of the story rather than the sets or props.

If you like WWII army movies, then The Liberator wont let you down. It’s a powerful story of courage and leadership. I thought this was a story too good to be true, but after looking into it, I found it was based on real events. I highly recommend watching this inspirational Netlix orginal series.

Why you should watch Tom Hanks in Greyhound

I was honestly not interested in this movie when I saw it advertised. I wondered how could a boring movie with Tom Hanks about the Navy in World War II be interesting? Well, I was dead wrong. This movie is fantastic.

Nonstop Action

Greyhound runs for an hour and a half, but it feels like it goes by in about 15 minutes. Even though I watched it on a small screen, it really captured my imagination and made me feel like I was out to sea in 1942.

Based on Truth

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I don’t know about you, but I really appreciate a story that is based on reality. Some of the art on the side of the German U-boats were really interesting to me.

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Our lord and master, Google, blocks anything about Nazis, so I couldn’t find an example without capturing the frame from the movie.

Looks Legit

I’m not a naval expert, but this movie looks like they did their homework. There was so much to take in that I watched it a second time and it was just as good the second run.

Tom Hanks

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When was the last time he let us down? He gets to play the Captain again and gives us a very believable performance. I was glad I screen captured the big helmet sailor.