‘We’re all part of the story’: behind Will Smith’s 14th amendment docuseries

‘We’re all part of the story’: behind Will Smith’s 14th amendment docuseries

The Guardian

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An ambitious and star-studded new Netflix series looks at the importance and legacy of an amendment that calls for equality and freedom

Chances are it is the most influential amendment to the US constitution that you aren’t familiar with. Given its impact, it is astonishing how little the 14th amendment is discussed in public life. Americans can’t rattle it off like the first and second amendments – but its words have fundamentally shaped the modern definition of US citizenship and the principles of equality and freedom entitled to those within the country’s borders.

Sitting at the crux of these key ideals, the 14th amendment is cited in more litigation than any other, including some of the US supreme court’s most well-known cases: Plessy v Ferguson, Brown v Board of Education, Loving v Virginia, Roe v Wade, Bush v Gore, Obergefell v Hodges. And because these noble notions are embedded in the 14th, it has the remarkable ability to generate both boundless hope (for the promises of that more perfect union aspired to in the constitution’s preamble) and crushing misery (for the failures to achieve such promises).

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