’13th’ and ‘O.J.: Made in America’ Win Peabody Awards

By Sameer Rao Apr 19, 2017

Ava DuVernay‘s "13th," Ezra Edelman‘s "O.J.: Made in America" and several other documentary films and series that explore race and racial justice earned Peabody Awards yesterday (April 18).

After previously announcing individual and institutional winners, the public service and media awards’ board of jurors unveiled 12 recipients in the documentary category via a post on PeabodyAwards.com yesterday. 

Besides DuVernay’s Netflix film on mass incarceration and Edelman’s ESPN series about the racial tensions surrounding O.J. Simpson’s 1994 murder trial, winning films that explored systemic racism in America include:

  • "Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four," directed by Deborah S. Esquenazi, follows the struggle of four Latinx lesbians to exonerate themselves after being imprisoned in Texas for nearly a decade in now-vacated sentences for allegedly gang-raping two girls.
  • "Mavis!" is an HBO feature-length documentary about gospel-R&B singer Mavis Staples and the impact of her music—both solo and alongside her sisters in The Staple Singers—throughout the Civil Rights Movement and successive generations of musicians.
  • "Trapped," directed by Dawn Porter, examines the harmful effects of "targeted regulation of abortion providers," or TRAP laws, on predominantly Black reproductive health providers and patients who require their services throughout the South.

In addition, these winning projects focused on communities of color outside the context of American racial justice: 

  • "Hip-Hop Evolution" is a joint Netflix and HBO series chronicling hip-hop’s development in Black communities and its commercial ascent.
  • "Exodus" is a "Frontline" documentary about African and Middle Eastern refugees fleeing violence to reach Europe.

Winners in the entertainment and news categories will be announced on April 20 and 25, respectively.