Slavery by Another Name

Slavery by Another Name

The Re-enslavement of Black People in America From the Civil War to World War II / Douglas A. Blackmon

Book - 2008
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A Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the "Age of Neoslavery," the American period following the Emancipation Proclamation in which convicts, mostly black men, were "leased" through forced labor camps operated by state and federal governments.

In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history--an "Age of Neoslavery" that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II.

Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Douglas A. Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude shortly thereafter. By turns moving, sobering, and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385722704
Branch Call Number: History 305.896 BLA


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American History - Jim Crow

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Aug 02, 2019

A remarkable account of a terrible period in late 19th century/early 20th century America. Hundreds of thousands of blacks kept in slavery through convict leasing. Many were arrested and found guilty of arbitrary "crimes" like vagrancy, leaving a previous (white) employer without permission or talking too loudly in public.
Individuals could lease the convicts from the state and force them to work. Many leased convicts worked in terrible conditions in mines, farms, railroad crews, turpentine production, etc. and torture was commonly used to compel labor. Many died from the harsh working and living conditions.
Sentences were usually a year but could be extended through debt peonage as the convicts were charged for their 'care' during their sentence.
In some ways, it was worse than pre Civil War slavery as the leased convicts were temporary and there was little incentive in preserving their long term health
The time between the Emancipation Proclamation and the 1960's Civil Rights Act was predominated by Jim Crow laws, segregation, lynchings, restrictive voting laws (literacy and means restrictions), political disenfranchisement, the rise and spread of Ku Klux Klan, race riots and the terrible outcomes of convict leasing.
Repressive laws and labor compulsion was justified as a common view of the time was that blacks could not be responsible, civilized citizens and were a burden to the south. The author demonstrates that convict leasing was extremely lucrative to politicians, local law enforcement and corporations which benefited from the system.
This book gives light to a lesser known aspect of discrimination and to the overarching systematic repression of black people in America during the period between the Civil War and the 1960s.
Various attempts were made to end the system but there was no political will in either local judicial system or with the early 20th century federal government.
The system of convict leasing gave way eventually to slave labor not being able to compete with increasing productivity of industrialization and the Roosevelt administration in WW2 not wanting negative publicity to damage US with other nations.
For the present day, it demonstrates how a comprehensive system of repression can develop without many being aware of it, how a meritocratic view that sees group outcomes as being solely determined by the individual / group and how difficult it is to overcome.

Mar 22, 2017

The "re-enslavement of black people from the Civil War to World War II" was due to CHOICE. The choice was either Booker T. Washington and his vision (Tuskegee Institute) for the American Negro or W.E.B. Du Boise and his Niagara Movement (aka NAACP) for the Colored-Black-African American; the enslavement was in choosing the latter. Read The Chronicles of Booker T. Washington by William Richard Kraft and Death In 60 Days: Who Killed Booker T. Washington by Paulette Horton-Davis. The so-called African American enslaved themselves....and we are paying in spades for it!

Oct 09, 2016

A riveting account of conditions faced by African Americans during Reconstruction and beyond. A hard hitting book, a definite must read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of race relations in America.

Jun 02, 2016

Probably the single most important book I have read on the subject of race relations in the U.S.A. The winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2008, this book caused me to adjust my thinking about this topic. I don't think it is possible to be informed on this topic without reading this book - a very strong statement, and one I have never made before, but in this case, I think it is warranted.

Jan 30, 2015

Great book for us to know regardling the history of our nation. Everyone should be aware of this portion of US history and the horrible treatment some blacks went through during this time. Slavery is closer to our generation than some may realize.


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Jan 30, 2015

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