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Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (2008)

av Douglas A. Blackmon

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,2213516,224 (4.45)81
A sobering account of a little-known crime against African Americans, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today. From the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II, under laws enacted specifically to intimidate blacks, tens of thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily arrested, hit with outrageous fines, and charged for the costs of their own arrests. With no means to pay these "debts," prisoners were sold as forced laborers to coal mines, lumber camps, brickyards, railroads, quarries, and farm plantations. Thousands of other African Americans were simply seized and compelled into years of involuntary servitude. Armies of "free" black men labored without compensation, were repeatedly bought and sold, and were forced through beatings and physical torture to do the bidding of white masters for decades after the official abolition of American slavery.--From publisher description.… (mer)
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Visa 1-5 av 35 (nästa | visa alla)
A much better book than this on the same topic is David Oshinsky's "Worse Than Slavery". This book here gives too many repetitive and unimportant official-type details without conveying the spirit of the time; Oshinsky's book gets deeper into the spirit of Jim Crow by delving into the real life of particular institutions like Parchman Prison, and using a much wider range of sources, particularly prison work songs. ( )
  fji65hj7 | May 14, 2023 |
Well-written, well-researched, and absolutely history of many Black Americans in the South between the Civil War and World War II. ( )
  tloeffler | Mar 18, 2023 |
I majored in history in college, but I studied very little American history. My understanding of the post-Reconstruction period from high school history was somewhat hazy. I did understand that after 1876, white Southerners systematically disenfranchised and oppressed African-Americans. I wasn't under any delusion that black people were at any fault for their situation in the US and in the South in particular. I knew that black people had lost any land they gained (but not how) and that landlords had abused tenants. I knew about companies that ensured their workers were always in debt to them.

What I didn't know was that the South had effectively rebuilt slavery, but didn't call it that--through its system of convict and contract labor. Blackmon grimly recounts the establishment and entrenchment of the system. Charges were trumped up against African-Americans, they were always convicted, and either they'd be sentenced to labor (and contracted out) or an employer would pay the fine (which the person would never have) and in return acquire them as labor. Forced labor was not simply a consequence of committing a crime; white leaders sought out black men and manufactured charges against them in order to ensure a constant supply of low cost labor for farms and mines.

This was accompanied by a systematic disenfranchisement and oppression of black Southerners, ensuring they would have no political power to resist the new slavery. It criminalized unemployment amongst African-Americans. When the Federal government attempted to take action against the most egregious offenses, and began to discover how widespread the system was, the white South rose up and demanded that the North stay out of interfering in its way of life. Southern lawyers relied on hyper-technical legal strategies to ensure that the federal government was unable to prosecute anyone for slavery, arguing that it was not technically illegal. Eventually, the government gave up. Northerners were not entirely innocent here; they too began to accept the new "scientific racism" and accepted that "good" blacks were subservient, while those who agitated for their rights were "bad." Northern companies accepted the use of slave labor in the South, even directly as when US Steel bought an Alabama coal company and did nothing to change its use of slave labor.

Only during WWII, driven by fears of enemy propaganda, did President Roosevelt instruct the federal government to begin prosecuting cases of peonage and slavery. Changes in the federal legal code were not made until after the war. The system's death knell was a combination of government action and economic change: modern farming and mining relied less on raw strength.

Blackmon insists on telling not just the horrors of slavery, but recounting the justifications and racism of those who practiced and justified it. This is an essential read. He correctly links our history--and our denial and ignorance of it--to the modern day. In order to progress as a nation, we must understand and acknowledge that history. ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
Blackmon starts the book by saying it is the story of Green Cottingham, but it is a lot more than that and overly dense with information. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Apr 27, 2021 |
Very insightful, and tells a story about real people instead of simply listing facts. I'm ashamed that of the knowledge in this book, the only thing I was taught in high school was a vague, not racially-oriented concept of "chain gangs". This is important to know. ( )
  fidgetyfern | Feb 23, 2021 |
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“Slavery by Another Name”... exposes what has been a mostly unexplored aspect of American history. It creates a broad racial, economic, cultural and political backdrop for events that have haunted Mr. Blackmon and will now haunt us all. And it need not exaggerate the hellish details of intense racial strife. The torment that Mr. Blackmon catalogs is, if anything, understated here. But it loudly and stunningly speaks for itself.
tillagd av Shortride | ändraNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Apr 10, 2008)
 

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Blackmon, Douglas A.Författareprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Boutsikaris, DennisBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Slavery:...That slow Poison, which is daily contaminating the Minds & Morals of our People. Every Gentlemen here is born a petty Tyrant. Practiced in Acts of Despotism & Cruelty, we become callous to the Dictates of Humanity, & all the finer feelings of the Soul. Taught to regard a part of our own Species in the most abject & contemptible Degree below us, we lose that Idea of the dignity of Man which the Hand of Nature had implanted in us, for great & useful purposes.

George Mason, July 1773
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A sobering account of a little-known crime against African Americans, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today. From the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II, under laws enacted specifically to intimidate blacks, tens of thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily arrested, hit with outrageous fines, and charged for the costs of their own arrests. With no means to pay these "debts," prisoners were sold as forced laborers to coal mines, lumber camps, brickyards, railroads, quarries, and farm plantations. Thousands of other African Americans were simply seized and compelled into years of involuntary servitude. Armies of "free" black men labored without compensation, were repeatedly bought and sold, and were forced through beatings and physical torture to do the bidding of white masters for decades after the official abolition of American slavery.--From publisher description.

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