In this groundbreaking historical expos , 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 IIUnder 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 ostensible 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 by southern landowners and compelled into years of involuntary servitude Government officials leased falsely imprisoned blacks to small town entrepreneurs, provincial farmers, and dozens of corporations including US Steel looking for cheap and abundant labor 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 slaveryThe neoslavery system exploited legal loopholes and federal policies that discouraged prosecution of whites for continuing to hold black workers against their wills As it poured millions of dollars into southern government treasuries, the new slavery also became a key instrument in the terrorization of African Americans seeking full participation in the US political systemBased on a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Slavery by Another Name 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 It also reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re emergence of human labor trafficking, the modern companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the system s final demise in the s, partly due to fears of enemy propaganda about American racial abuse at the beginning of World War II Slavery by Another Name is a moving, sobering account of a little known crime against African Americans, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today


10 thoughts on “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

  1. Becky Becky says:

    This book was fascinating and eye opening I grew up in the south, but I admit to being shamefully ignorant of post emancipation slavery In school we were taught that slavery existed, and it was awful terrible bad, and that Lincoln freed the slaves, and then nothing Nothing until the Civil Rights movement of the 60s It s like the 100 or so years in between just didn t even exist to my history teachers It was all just Nothin to see here nothing to see here at all Keep moving Shamefu This book was fascinating and eye opening I grew up in the south, but I admit to being shamefully ignorant of post emancipation slavery In school we were taught that slavery existed, and it was awful terrible bad, and that Lincoln freed the slaves, and then nothing Nothing until the Civil Rights movement of the 60s It s like the 100 or so years in between just didn t even exist to my history teachers It was all just Nothin to see here nothing to see here at all Keep moving Shameful I knew that racism and white supremacism never went away, but I never imagined the ways that slavery would just be adapted and re legitimized after owning people as property was made illegal It s just shocking how intricate the system of re enslavement was, and how widespread, and how accepted if not EXPECTED though I guess I shouldn t be surprised Not being able to own a human as chattel doesn t suddenly negate the attitude that they SHOULD be owned It just creates an environment in which you have to get a little bit creative to do so And having a government that all but ignores reports of slavery always helps sigh This book should be required reading That is all


  2. Petra-X Petra-X says:

    What is slavery Is it the absence of any right to self determination Is it being bought and sold in the same way as livestock Does bonded labour fall into its definition Is it being free to work for a pittance and obey the Man s rules and regulations, which might be made up on the spot if your face doesn t fit and then suffer the consequences from a beating, to imprisonment, even death I don t know how America defined slavery but it was obviously in a fake and euphemistic way if the Governm What is slavery Is it the absence of any right to self determination Is it being bought and sold in the same way as livestock Does bonded labour fall into its definition Is it being free to work for a pittance and obey the Man s rules and regulations, which might be made up on the spot if your face doesn t fit and then suffer the consequences from a beating, to imprisonment, even death I don t know how America defined slavery but it was obviously in a fake and euphemistic way if the Government can say it ended in variously, according to state between 1863 and 1865 actually teach that lie in schools Because, in the South, right up until WWII it remained legal to buy and sell people I don t want this to turn into an essay It is a very, very good book, written in a very readable manner and I recommend it to everyone, everywhere, but especially those in the US and those that have some influence on what their education board decides their children should be taught Children have a right to know the truth if they are going to repair old enmities and move forward into a world which drops the divisions and sings that lovely old kiddies song, thewe are together the happier we will be


  3. Leonard Timmons Leonard Timmons says:

    I sort of knew lots of this I did not know how close I was to it If you live your life for the sole purpose of acquiring wealth, there is no limit to the evil that you can and will do The amazing thing is that you will never admit that evil to yourself It seems right So very right.This book helps to explain a lot of the dysfunction in the Black community Not all of it, of course, but living under slavery and having that followed by 75 years of government ignored terrorism changes a culture I sort of knew lots of this I did not know how close I was to it If you live your life for the sole purpose of acquiring wealth, there is no limit to the evil that you can and will do The amazing thing is that you will never admit that evil to yourself It seems right So very right.This book helps to explain a lot of the dysfunction in the Black community Not all of it, of course, but living under slavery and having that followed by 75 years of government ignored terrorism changes a culture and a people Having initiative can destroy you and possibly your entire family Taking the initiative takes courage or stupidity or both It s really hard to eliminate that from a culture.Slavery and the vicious thing that followed it was a failure of our ability to believe what we could see black people are just people That inability was enabled by our nations ability to profit from its blindness Yet there came a time when we decided that the overall wealth of the nation would be enhanced by the ability of black Americans to fully participate in our economic system.We ve learned that the ability to freely compete enriches us all Those who depend on anticompetitive measures like slavery actually impoverish the nation The question we have to ask ourselves is, What is America doing right now that reduces competition and thereby makes us poorer That is the challenge of this book


  4. Vannessa Anderson Vannessa Anderson says:

    Slavery by Another Name lays out the Tea Party s entire platform Slavery by Another Name follows the life of Green Cottenham who was arrested on March 30, 1908 by the sheriff of Selby County, Alabama, and charged with vagrancy and in walking in his footsteps author Blackmon shared what he d learned about the politics of the day and how those politics and slavery were synonymous then as they are todaySlavery that slow Poison, which is daily contaminating the Minds Morals of our People. Slavery by Another Name lays out the Tea Party s entire platform Slavery by Another Name follows the life of Green Cottenham who was arrested on March 30, 1908 by the sheriff of Selby County, Alabama, and charged with vagrancy and in walking in his footsteps author Blackmon shared what he d learned about the politics of the day and how those politics and slavery were synonymous then as they are todaySlavery 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 party 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 Virginia Constitutional Convention A few things I learned passages taken directly from book Unlike the victims of the Jewish Holocaust, who were on the whole literate, comparatively wealthy, and positioned to record for history the horror that enveloped them, Cottenham and his peers had virtually no capacity to preserve their memories or document their destruction The black population of the United States in 1900 was in the main destitute and illiterate For the vast majority, no recordings, writings, images, or physical descriptions survive everything has to bend, give way to large crops of cotton, land has to be cultivated wet or dry, Negroes to work hot or cold Under these circumstances, slave owners came to accept that black laborers would also die quickly The Negros die off every few years, though it is said that in time each hand also makes enough to buy twoin his place, wrote planter James H Ruffin in 1833.By the beginning of the Civil War, railroads owned an estimated twenty thousand slaves.The desire of white farmers to recapture their former slaves through new civil laws was transparent In the immediate wake of emancipation, the Alabama legislature swiftly passed a measure under which the orphans of freed slaves, or the children of blacks deemed inadequate parents, were to be apprenticed to their former masters.A few of the things you will learn Whites saw the money spent in black schools as the only viable source of additional funds for their own children In the legislative session of 1892, white leaders simply changed the law so that school taxes were no longer distributed among all schools in equal per pupil allotments it would be to local officials to divide the money among schools as they may deem just and equitable states legislated that African Americans could not legally be hired for work without a discharge paper from their previous employer effectively preventing them from leaving the plantation of the white man they worked for The roles the U.S Supreme Court, Standard Oil, U.S Steel, Sloss Sheffield Iron and Steel and other major corporations whose products you buy played in slavery You ll learn that the code words used then are not unlike the code words used today.It was simply amazing to learn of the many ways those in power used to keep blacks in slavery after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation In fact, author Blackmon writes that slavery didn t truly end until 1945.The American Indians had their Trail of Tears and The Long Walk The Japanese had their internment camps The Jews had their Holocaust and yet, the American people have not learned from the past What I especially liked about Slavery by Another Name is that it didn t waste my time with blame, anger or hate The story was told in a non threatening factual manner.Slavery by Another Name is a book that should be read by everyone and should be required reading and open for discussion at the high school and college levels


  5. Karen Davis Karen Davis says:

    First, let me acknowledge how difficult this book was for me to read Not due to the writing but the topic and detail It was emotionally wrenching and Blackmon painstakingly filled each page with names and scenarios of the most cruelest brutalities because he delved so deep into the research I found myself wanting to honor the men and women and children he had given name to by absorbing and reflecting as much as I could handle until I completed the book.Have you ever experienced an understandin First, let me acknowledge how difficult this book was for me to read Not due to the writing but the topic and detail It was emotionally wrenching and Blackmon painstakingly filled each page with names and scenarios of the most cruelest brutalities because he delved so deep into the research I found myself wanting to honor the men and women and children he had given name to by absorbing and reflecting as much as I could handle until I completed the book.Have you ever experienced an understanding so vivid that you have difficulty even breathing The continuum of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome widespread physical and psychic devastion and how it collectively effects the whole group was laid before me and how the discrepancies and injustices present in our justice system just kept running rampant in my mind I know we sometimes do not want to acknowledge how oppression has operated in our past and present and we want to isolate occurrences as if they have no history, and even when we do, we speak in generalized speech Blackmon names names and ties those name to present wealth of today s companies He does so by researching legal, prison, and company documents and presenting details in a narrative form.After making the connections to how many individuals and corporations gained wealth at the expense of unjust prison labor system that randomly subjugated Black men, women and children to enslavement and continued risk of brutal death, Blackmon even reached out to present day corporations to enlighten them on how their companies were built on the backs and lives of unjust prison slavery that lasted well into the 20th century.The book begins with the search for the details of the life of one person, Green Cottenham, who was killed in a prison camp while still a young man in his 20s The search leads the reader through the lives of others on both sides of this horrendous practice with the revelation of how widespread this practice was across the South and how later on it was sustained by industrialists of the North and how the Department of Justice handled or not the investigations of the practice He eventually takes us to his attempts to connect with Cottenham s living descendants and personalizing his work by connecting it to his interest from when he was a 12 year old child in Louisiana


  6. Katie Katie says:

    I read this for a Race and Diversity class in college and while the subject matter was fascinating and horrifying, the writing was lacking The author focuses on the statement that every child learns in elementary school Slavery ended after the Civil War and proves how false that statement is It was enlightening and terrible at the same time I had no idea how ignorant I was about that section of America s history African Americans were basically re enslaved for 75 years through the use of I read this for a Race and Diversity class in college and while the subject matter was fascinating and horrifying, the writing was lacking The author focuses on the statement that every child learns in elementary school Slavery ended after the Civil War and proves how false that statement is It was enlightening and terrible at the same time I had no idea how ignorant I was about that section of America s history African Americans were basically re enslaved for 75 years through the use of the legal system In the South they would pick African American men off the street for non existent offenses such as vagrancy or offensive acts which could mean almost anything convict them, charge them exorbitant fees that they couldn t pay, and then sell them to lumber mills, coal mines, and the rail roads to work off their debt When those men got there, the conditions were inhuman, they were whipped and beaten daily, and for most of them no records were kept of their court appearance and conviction, so they had no way to leave Most died within the first few months, and the few that survived were once again in a lifetime of servitude This only ended in 1941 because the country needed African American men to fight in World War II and to actually believe in the cause and their country I took one star off for the writing, not the subject matter I found the authors style to be repetitive and heavy handed He also tried to follow one family and man throughout the years of this new form of slavery and it didn t work at all There was no personal attachment for me for this character he tried to create I understand that he was trying to get his point across and make sure readers understood how awful this system was, but he didn t have to repeat everything multiple times I do recommend the book however because I don t think nearly enough people are aware of what was going on in the South between 1867 and 1941


  7. Robert Federline Robert Federline says:

    This book is shocking until one remembers that the history studied in school, and in the popular books, is that which was written by the winners In the case where it was not a declared war, but rather an internal conflict, the ruling class s perspective controls This is why there has been so little candidly written about the decimation of the Irish in the potato fame due to the hard heartedness of the English This book now reveals the shame in the United States in race relations following the This book is shocking until one remembers that the history studied in school, and in the popular books, is that which was written by the winners In the case where it was not a declared war, but rather an internal conflict, the ruling class s perspective controls This is why there has been so little candidly written about the decimation of the Irish in the potato fame due to the hard heartedness of the English This book now reveals the shame in the United States in race relations following the Civil War up to modern times.Even having lived through the turbulent 1960 s and the Civil Rights Movement, it is hard to believe that racisim was so institutionalized as revealed by this book Racism is now viewed primarily as an issue of personal attitudes and prejudices This book glaringly exposes how those attitudes were not only a majority viewpoint, but were adopted and promoted by the government and private industry, working hand in glove with one another.Most adults today would tell you that slavery was ended by the Civil War, followed by the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments Most educated people realize that the Emancipation Proclamation wassymbolic than practical in ending slavery, since it only applied to states which were in rebellion, and would have meant absolutely nothing had the North not won the war The 13th Amendment was thought to abolish slavery It states, in part, Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude,shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction This would have stopped the abominable practice, but for the loophole represented in the foregoing quote by the ellipsis That loophole reads except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted Southern legislatures were quick to take advantage of this exception and quickly created a corrupt system of laws so that the exception would devour the rule Vagrancy legislation became de rigueur The methods of conviction were so lax as to be non existent.Because the methods had the appearance of law, the re enslavement of African Americans was accepted without comment or qualm The fact that it existed so long that it encroached so deeply into the twentieth century and its institutions.The system of slavery was changed, and persisted, because of systemic prejudice in the lives of the people The horror of slavery existed in the first place only because of the arrogance of some people thinking that they were better than others for purely superficial reasons Such a basis of prejudice continues, even today, in society Unfortunately, it is not only within the ignorant masses, but even among those who are well educated It is because of this insidious systemic prejudice that slavery was allowed to exist, and continued in altered forms.This book is a warning Evil will persist as long as the good turn a blind eye, and are willing to accept superficial excuses for the subjugation and oppression of others The methods used to suppress others have simply becomesophisticated While the dishonorable enslavement and selling of people to corporations, as revealed in this book, may no longer be taking place, we must be ever on guard against such evil as it diminishes all who are involved, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.Only by recognizing the inherent dignity of all men, and judging each man on his own merits, rather than by stereotypes and in group condemnations, can the human race progress We must recognize that the human race is the only race, and we will lose the race, unless we support and run together


  8. Alexandria Alexandria says:

    I expected this book to rehash the well known civil rights abuses that took place between the abolition of slavery and the Civil Rights Movements a hundred years later, but in fact it did so muchthan that it taught me things about US history and slave history in the US which I had never known The book meticulously documents how slavery continued underground after emancipation on a vast, all encompassing scale through the various machinations of the US legal and corporate system, protec I expected this book to rehash the well known civil rights abuses that took place between the abolition of slavery and the Civil Rights Movements a hundred years later, but in fact it did so muchthan that it taught me things about US history and slave history in the US which I had never known The book meticulously documents how slavery continued underground after emancipation on a vast, all encompassing scale through the various machinations of the US legal and corporate system, protected at every level under the broad umbrella of progress , how the North turned a blind eye, and on and on It s a terrible, intimate portrait of one family and the economic and political situation which encompassed them in a whirlwind of oppression, but at its heart it s a very important, overlooked part of American history whose legacy continues through the present day It was perhaps this post bellum period which sowed the seeds of contemporary race politics and relations in the USeven than slavery itself it created a blueprint for future generations of white men for how they can keep men especially of color on their knees even beyond Civil Rights with full protection of the the legal system and corporate America This is the post emancipation history we never learned in school Highly recommended.I listened to the audiobook, perfectly narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris


  9. Rosemari Rosemari says:

    I am conflicted with rage and sorrow after finally finishing Douglas A Blackmon s Slavery by Another Name The Re Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II The complicity of numerous Corporations U.S Steel, etc and our United States government in all its racist glory, that allowed the dirty South to continue its practice of absolute inhuman subjugation, mass murders, and mortal terror of African Americans after our so called emancipation, must be addressed somehow I am conflicted with rage and sorrow after finally finishing Douglas A Blackmon s Slavery by Another Name The Re Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II The complicity of numerous Corporations U.S Steel, etc and our United States government in all its racist glory, that allowed the dirty South to continue its practice of absolute inhuman subjugation, mass murders, and mortal terror of African Americans after our so called emancipation, must be addressed somehow, someway, someday An apology is a condescending dismissal of a wrong as great as the Jewish Holocaust This neoslavery did not end officially until 1945, but continued for some African Americans into the 1960s Meanwhile, there is no remorse, no true corrections for this holocaust, instead there are continued inaccurate historical revisions in our children s text books continued hostile resentment for Affirmative Action which couldn t even begin to right the wrongs continued profiles that inference us as ignorant, immoral and poverty stricken due to our own lack of grit and ingenuity Collectively it silently screams Black people are simply inferior to most Americans and the world who do not know this history It has successfully shamed too many of us into not writing about these wrongs in ways that must be done, much as the plethora of literature in all genres is persistently published and produced about the Holocaust Thank you Douglas Blackmon although you fell short when it came to the question of reparations How dare anyone who can read, NOT read this book Not knowing about this period of our history which affects us so greatly today, should be as wrong and ridiculous as denying the Holocaust There are other books about this period, Black Prisoners and Their World, Alabama, 1865 1900 by Mary Ellen Curtin, and others which I intend to begin searching for immediately But next I am opening the pages of The Ballad of Blind Tom Slave pianist, America s lost musical genius by Deirdre O Connell I welcome all suggestions of books about the our neoslavery history


  10. Christopher Christopher says:

    Everyone should read this book the fact that almost no one knows about one of the most horrific chapters in our nation s recent history is shocking In fact, shocking describes most of this book like King Leopold s Ghost, its both depressingly real yet so horrific as to defy belief In the epilogue, Blackmon says we need to rename the Jim Crow Era the Era of Neoslavery in order to reflect the reality of what was actually taking place Did you know that, until the 1950s, it was NOT a Everyone should read this book the fact that almost no one knows about one of the most horrific chapters in our nation s recent history is shocking In fact, shocking describes most of this book like King Leopold s Ghost, its both depressingly real yet so horrific as to defy belief In the epilogue, Blackmon says we need to rename the Jim Crow Era the Era of Neoslavery in order to reflect the reality of what was actually taking place Did you know that, until the 1950s, it was NOT a federal crime to own slaves That s just one of the countless facts that are so egregiously terrible that you would think everyone would know them, yet they have been hidden away into a collectively sustained amnesia.In stories that quickly become hauntingly and horrifically repetitive, Blackmon tells of the hundreds and thousands of African Americans who were enslaved after the Civil War and as late as World War II A few courageous individuals tried to speak out, but judges, sheriffs, and most of America looked the other way, especially since states and corporations were getting rich off the torturous, forced labor these slaves provided As people who live in a prosperous nation whose wealth was build not just on antebellum slavery but slavery that lasted nearly half way through the 20th century, we all have a responsibility to at least know that history