- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (January 13, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385722702
- ISBN-13: 978-0385722704
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 542 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II Reprint Edition
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“Shocking. . . . Eviscerates one of our schoolchildren's most basic assumptions: that slavery in America ended with the Civil War.” —The New York Times
“An astonishing book. . . . It will challenge and change your understanding of what we were as Americans-and of what we are.” —Chicago Tribune
“The genius of Blackmon's book is that it illuminates both the real human tragedy and the profoundly corrupting nature of the Old South slavery as it transformed to establish a New South social order.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“A formidably researched, powerfully written, wrenchingly detailed narrative.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Slavery was not abolished. It was simply (and predictably) replaced by an even more devastating system of legal, codified oppression that made the incarceration of "free" black men, a desirable and profitable practice, and a central component of economic prosperity for white businesses. "Laws" were created specifically to fine and arrest black men so their "debt" could be sold to white businesses who would in turn use the men as forced laborers. The demand for this cheap labor was insatiable. Black men were arrested for "talking too loud" in front of a white woman, or being "disrespectful". Many were arrested without even being charged - that's how blatant the practice was. Vagrancy laws were also created and used for the sole purpose of "rounding up" as many black men as possible to feed this new system of slavery. Many of these men died working in unspeakably brutal conditions in mines, foundries, plantations, and railroads. This system was a brutal manifestation of how whites viewed blacks, a view that, like it or not, is still at the core of American consciousness.
This book is a painful, depressing, but necessary read. It should be required reading in high school and college.
I have this book four stars, because of comments made about the Holocaust. The rich Jew trope reflects classic Anti-Judaism rhetoric. A very small number of the Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust were wealthy. Most had lived in abject poverty for centuries. The author really needs to study the history of Jews to see even more shades of slavery.
trump up charges, such as vagrancy.
Usually, an African American either took the train or walked to a neighboring town or city looking for work. The local Sheriff meets up with him and either says you owe Mr. Anderson $7.50 for a loan he never borrowed. You need to pay up now or you will be charged with xyz. Mr. Anderson pays for the debt plus new charges. Next the African American is brought before a judge and pronunced guilty and sentenced to 6 on up months of forced labor. He is then asked to sign a contract agreeing to the terms. Usually the forced laborer is illiterate and can't read the contract. He signs a "X" for his signature.
These arrestees were held in the local town jail without basic living conditions. The Sheriff would sell them at a profit to regional mines, lumber yards and coal companies, farmers, and other forced labor camps. The monies were split between the pretend victim (Mr. Anderson), the judge and the sheriff.
These labor camps treated their inmates worse than their African American ancestors before the Civil War. Once they arrived to work at the mines they were chained and shackled. Each slave was given a quota of product they were required to provide at the end of the day. Their days started at 3am or 4am and ended around 11pm. If they missed their quota they were harshly whipped by being stretched nakedly over a barrel to receive at least fifteen lashes. Many died from these daily beatings. Their threadbare clothes or in many cases no clothes were never washed.
Lack of safety was another lethal issue. Because these labor camps were doing everything they could to save on expenses the mines, lumber yards and coal companies used century old equipment that increased loss of limbs and lives.
Due to the lack of sanitary conditions disease ran rapid through the slave workers camps.
The slaves (forced labor) lived in too small filthy hovels where they were chained together each night. They were fed substandard food each night and not enough to meet male caloric intake. Making the slaves weaker every work day.
The details of the book stays with you to share with friends and family.
I highly recommend this book if you want to learn more about slavery in the twentieth century. It is very topical with the kidnapping of the Nigerian girls.
Top international reviews
The horrific treatment meted out to them down the years beggars belief.
For some reasons, the hardcopy version seems to be unavailable. I have heard this from several sources. The Kindle version works, at least.
I read an article only yesterday whereby a journalist went out to research "how many slaves are working for me". The staggering number came back at 53. This number included people that are being exploited in sweat shop clothes manufacture etc. it highlighted that slavery has not gone away but is still practiced. I wish I could do more than get angry about it.
That said I would recommend this book for anyone remotely interested in finding out what slavery means and if it changes even just one persons views against slavery it will have been a good purchase.