Parents' Guide to

Amend: The Fight For America

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

A creative and educational civics lesson for older viewers.

Amend: The Fight For America Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 10+

Great Resource for Teaching ABout Civil Rights

This series does a great job of explaining the fight for America. I especially enjoyed episode three and think that every middle school student should watch it with a parent or in a classroom setting. There are some instances where celebrities read parts of speeches or quotes which I think could confuse a child because the celebrities are speaking for historical figures they might not yet know but they are not in costume. An educated adult could point out that the celebrities are reading quotes and are not the actual historical figures. The only issue some parents might have with episode three include the words damn, hell and the N word is audible and/or visible in one to three primary source clips, I think it is a valuable resource for parents and teachers to assist in teaching about a tough subject in US History.
age 10+

Hidden History

I thought I was fairly well "educated"! and of course I knew the highlights of MOST of what was presented, but I cannot believe how "overlooked", for lack of a better word, the IMPACT and IMPORTANCE of the 14th Amendment....we all, know the 1st and 2nd, and maybe the 19th......but nowhere in MY EDUCATION was this amazing and crucial history EVER presented...EVERYONE SHOULD SEE THIS PRESENTATION....especially in today's climate.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (4 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This outstanding limited series is an upbeat, creative, and informative civics lesson about one of the most reinterpreted Constitutional amendments in U.S. history. It introduces the fact that the U.S. Constitution is a document of ideals, and because of this, fails to concretely define what being a U.S. citizen means. It examines the amendment itself, which guarantees citizenship to those born and naturalized in the U.S., and due process and equal protections under federal law. Each installment illustrates how, after the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868, the constitutional ambiguities about citizenship, and the Amendment's failure to specifically address discrimination, has had far-reaching implications. Those include controversial state legislation, the massive efforts to pass federal laws like the Civil Right's Act of 1964 and the failed Equal Rights Amendment, and Supreme Court cases that continue to identify and redefine the rights of oppressed people within the United States.

While decidedly left-leaning, Amend does a good job of presenting constitutional history, and illustrates how the United States has adapted, and resisted, the provisions of the 14th Amendment for over a century. It discusses contemporary issues -- including systematic racism, abortion rights, same-sex marriage, immigration, and the treatment of non-citizens -- through this lens. This creates the space to effectively showcase the country's on-going negotiation of who the 14th Amendment was intended to protect in multiple ways. To its credit, the series also highlights the unique complexities that have become part of this negotiation, especially for individuals who hold two or more oppressed identities (such as Black transgender women). Overall, Amend: The Fight For America isn't just about the 14th Amendment, but about the fact that the fight for progress isn't easy, but must continue in order to protect American democracy.

TV Details

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