Friday, June 27, 2008

believe that the american civil war ended slavery

An excerpt from Bill Moyers' interview with Douglas Blackmon, author of Slavery By Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.

New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin describes Blackmon's book as

relentless and fascinating. It exposes what has been a mostly unexplored aspect of American history (though there have been dissertations and a few books from academic presses). It creates a broad racial, economic, cultural and political backdrop for events that have haunted Mr. Blackmon and will now haunt us all. And it need not exaggerate the hellish details of intense racial strife.

In Slavery by Another Name, Blackmon eviscerates one of our schoolchildren’s most basic assumptions: that slavery in America ended with the Civil War. Mr. 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.

The torment that Mr. Blackmon catalogs is, if anything, understated here. But it loudly and stunningly speaks for itself.


  1. That was incredible and it was only six minutes. I never knew the extent of racist reslavery. Thanks for sharing the video and the suggested book. I guess I need to do some more reading.

  2. This topic is covered, not as in depth, by David Oshinsky in "Worse Than Slavery." Oshinksky's book speaks more about the treatment of black Americans in the South following the Civil War, with much emphasis on Vagrancy Laws.

  3. Thanks for posting this video. I used it to corroborate this post about a family that was enslaved in Mississippi until 1963.

  4. Thanks for putting this up. I always teach my students that slavery did not officially end just because the war ended. Black Codes lingered for a very long time in many areas.

    Some would argue that there is still the double standard of treatment/punishment of brown people to this day (for example the difference in sentences for crack versus for cocaine and the displacement/removal of low income housing in exchange for newer more expensive condos, apartments, and homes. I'm still trying to figure out where all these people in my city are going to be able to go).

    I wrote a couple of posts in June and in May on the modern day slavery that still happens throughout the world.

  5. Thanks for posting this, Macon.

  6. Nquest, I just saw your "thanks" here. You're welcome--I'm so glad you found it useful.


Please see the "commenting guidelines" before submitting a comment.

hit counter code