Documentary slavery by another name
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. BlackmonIn this groundbreaking historical exposé, 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.
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 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 U.S. 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 slavery.
The 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 U.S. political system.
Based 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 1940s, 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.
Official Selection of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival
Based on Douglas A. Blackmon's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, the film illuminates how in the years following the Civil War, insidious new forms of forced labor emerged in the American South, persisting until the onset of World War II. This curriculum includes a media-making focus to facilitate creating audio recordings of personal narratives and engaging in meaningful civil discourse around social justice issues. Learn more about slavery after the Civil War by scrolling through the timeline and map. Points on the map include photos, videos and more information about key dates in United States history. Watch video clips about slavery in America involving various topics that range from Chain Gangs to Sharecropping.
It was a shocking reality that often went unacknowledged, then and now: A huge system of forced, unpaid labor, mostly affecting Southern black men, that lasted until World War II. Based on the Pulitzer-Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon, Slavery By Another Name tells the stories of men, charged with crimes like vagrancy, and often guilty of nothing, who were bought and sold, abused, and subject to sometimes deadly working conditions as unpaid convict labor. Interviews with the descendants of victims and perpetrators resonate with a modern audience. Local law enforcement officers cited regulations against vagrancy, loitering, or walking near railroads to arrest, incarcerate, and sentence African American men to work as forced convict laborers in factories, mines, and farms. This immense system of forced, unpaid labor was a shocking reality that has often gone unacknowledged.
1h 30min | Documentary, History | TV Movie 13 February A documentary that recounts the many ways in which American slavery persisted as a practice many decades after its supposed abolition. Douglas A. Blackmon.
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Sign in. Alex Borstein , RuPaul , and other stars at the Emmys answer our fans' burning questions. Watch now. A documentary that recounts the many ways in which American slavery persisted as a practice many decades after its supposed abolition. This minute PBS documentary, based upon the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon, eviscerates one of America's most cherished myths: the belief that slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation of African Americans were systematically charged for petty crimes, and sentenced to hard labor working for former white slave owners.