Slavery by Another Name doesn’t masquerade as a novel but the story is well-told and the characters drawn from history help us consider the realities of a black person’s fearful existence in the era of post-emancipation neoslavery.
“Where mob violence or the Ku Klux Klan terrorized black citizens periodically, the return of forced labor as a fixture in black life ground pervasively into the daily lives of far more African Americans.”
In Slavery by Another Name, Doug Blackmon chronicles the shocking details of a turn-of-the-century secret service investigation into post-emancipation slavery that led to large-scale indictments of white southern convict leaseholders and their conspirators and the judicial decisions that amounted to little more than slaps on the wrist and enabled atrocities to continue into the 1940s. Notorious and powerful perpetrators were acquitted or merely fined (at affordable costs that their profitable industries made back using forced labor), despite almost ritual abuse…
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