Slavery in America, Douglas Blackmon

Punishment in a 1930's Georgian labor camp

Punishment in a 1930's Georgian labor camp

The Professor discusses the book Slavery by Another Name , by Douglas Blackmon, and the nature of slavery in the past.

The author, Douglas Blackmon, concludes that slavery really emerged after the Emancipation Proclamation.  I addressed this some before in a piece on democracy and race when I stated this: In Karl Marx’s historical modes of production, he contends that neo-racism did not emerge until the rise of Atlantic labor systems. As the need and desire for more labor increased to help expand the capitalist’s notion of mercantilism, exploitation became the premise of enhancing one’s wealth. Before the rise of this paradigm, slavery had yet to be juxtaposed to racism. Ancient slavery was a product of group defeatism.

The New York Times review of the book has this to say:

In “Slavery by Another Name” Douglas A. Blackmon eviscerates one of our schoolchildren’s most basic assumptions: that slavery in America ended with the Civil War. Blackmon unearths shocking evidence that the practice persisted well into the 20th century. And he is not simply referring to the virtual bondage of black sharecroppers unable to extricate themselves economically from farming.

He describes free men and women forced into industrial servitude, bound by chains, faced with subhuman living conditions and subject to physical torture. That plight was horrific. But until 1951, it was not outside the law.

It’s clearly a myth that slavery ended after the civil war.  It’s mind-boggling that we can all go through school and not learn any of this.  Frightening.

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