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The Birth of a Nation

Nate Parker's “The Birth of a Nation,” a retelling of the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner, could not be more timely. The rise of Donald Trump and the more blatant expression of racist attitudes that his candidacy has emboldened; the outcry over police brutality and the formation of Black Lives Matter; the battles over hate speech, “safe spaces” and historical curriculum on campus; the debate about how to reform a criminal justice system that some believe is the continuation of Jim Crow by other means (see Ava DuVernay’s “13th” for more): these ongoing narratives all come back to the right to live an autonomous American life, and the duty to resist those who would oppose that right.
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