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

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  2,912 ratings  ·  327 reviews
In 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 outrageou
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Doubleday
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Petra X
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
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."

Leonard Timmons
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 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 much more than 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 ...more
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 ...more
Vannessagrace Vannessagrace
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 today.

Slavery: … that slow Poison, which is daily contaminating the Minds & Morals of our Peopl
In his epilogue, Blackmon asserts that "In every aspect and among almost every demographic, how American society digested and processed the long, dark chapter between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the civil rights movement has been delusion." This popular history -- frequently revelatory and unrelentingly horrifying -- aims to correct such delusion. As the title makes plain, Blackmon describes the institutions that emerged to establish and maintain the forced labor of African Ame ...more
Karen Davis
Apr 07, 2012 Karen Davis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone and everyone!
Recommended to Karen by: PBS
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
Robert Federline
Feb 17, 2013 Robert Federline rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Robert by: Dr. Janis C. Brooks, Ph.D.
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 ...more
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
I will admit that I was a bit hesitant at first with this book. It seems there has been quite a few books come to my desk that are a bit brutal about the South in particular and the US in general. I was half expecting this to be another of the countless books that wish to heap blame on the south and want to further stir racial resentments for the author’s economic gain. I am so pleased to say that I did not find that to be the case with this book. Rather, I found a very interesting story that n ...more
Sandra D
This book was a little too long, a bit slow in spots, occasionally repetitive, and there were even a couple of typos -- and I'm still giving it five stars. It was that amazing.
Have you wondered why African Americans and white Americans had such divergent reactions to the O.J. Simpson trial? Or why African Americans distrust the police and judicial system in this country? This book opened my eyes to the plight of African Americans in the United States between the Civil War and World War II. Blackmon contends (and voluminously supports)that the period of "Jim Crow segregation" in this country is more accurately characterized by the term "The Age of Neoslavery". The fact ...more
Sep 12, 2009 Rosemari rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: highly to all readers
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 can't say enough about how important this book is. it totally blew my mind and significantly rearranged my understanding of american history in the first half of the 20th century. my knowledge of the end of slavery in this country was shockingly incomplete. brilliantly written and researched, this is essential reading.
This country's history is even worse than I thought
I had no idea how the newly emancipated slaves lived following the Civil War. This book presents a convincing case that not a lot changed for the former slaves after the war was over.

After the short-lived Reconstruction period, life went back to pretty much the way it was prior to the Civil War. The slaves were technically free, but were in fact still owned by whites. The scheme worked like this. Blacks would be arrested on a trumped up charge and then fined to pay court cost. Not being able to
Wilson Hines
Mar 06, 2011 Wilson Hines rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: History, American 19th Century
Can you imagine the year being 1908 and there being an actual court condoned and operated slave trade in the United States of America? That is exactly what Mr. Blackmon brings to light and it wasn't only a localized problem, it was all over the South.
This is a book which I cannot describe, but only recommend. I was disheartened, embarrassed, but relieved to know this era in our history was finally put to rest by some great men like Booker T. Washington, W.B. Dubois, President Roosevelt and a li
I would buy this book for anyone who is marginally interested in this subject. This is an incredibly important and largely unexamined piece of American history. I believe the atrocities of the post-Reconstruction era shape American life much more than antebellum slavery. It is very well written, both in the author's prosaic style and in his exhaustive research. One of the frustrations in scholarship on 19th century African American life is the dearth of written documentation on the lives of aver ...more
Mark E. Smith
Slavery has not yet ended in the USA, but most people aren't even aware that it didn't end after the Civil War. Today the laws are more sophisticated, the courtrooms bigger, the proceedings always carefully recorded, but we have more prisoners than any other country in the world and they are disproportionately Black and "guilty" of nonviolent crimes. Torture, beatings, inadequate food, and lack of medical care are still common in US prisons, but prison officials have gotten better at hiding thin ...more
I had no idea that this was the next chapter of the south after emancipation. This book tells the story of one Green Cottenham, from his familial slave roots to his own death in the coal mines of Alabama. The author attempts to tie Green's story with that of thousands of African Americans who were unfairly arrested, ordered to pay outlandish court fees and, eventually "leased" to white farmers and industrialists in a state-sponsored convict leasing system. The book goes into detail of the shocki ...more
This was a great book. Well researched, and very insightful. I chose to read it as an audiobook which made it a little harder to follow as there many people mentioned solely by name in each chapter. It didn't prevent me from understanding the overall story, but if I had it to read over again I'd read a text version. The progression of the story was well executed, and it really helped to understand the many ebbs and flows of race relations in our society during the time. In addition, many other b ...more
Although I felt that 100-150 pages could've been shaved off of this book, I nonetheless feel that it's an extremely important addition to the canon of reconstruction era literature. It deals with a topic that is not only not widely recognized but also actively ignored by our collective American consciousness. The author explicitly states that the reason for his undertaking is to actively combat our national ignorance, and I applaud him in that regard. Thought it's a story that for those of us fa ...more
This book tells in chilling, almost-unbearable-to-consider detail the exploitation, brutality and inhumanity that loomed over every black person (and some poor whites) in the south for almost 100 years after the Civil War.

Fortunately, the author names the white SOBs - most of them moneyed or in "law enforcement" or the court system - who were responsible for the kidnappings and wrongful imprisonment which subjected captives to slave labor and such sub-human treatment that all "prisoners" were
A very grim and deeply depressing book, with important things to say. Not an easy read, though - firstly because of the nature of the material, and secondly because in some places its recitation of cases and incidents is so detailed and example-rich as to become a bit repetitive.

The civil rights movement was at a high pitch when I was a child, so it was no surprise to me that the end of slavery after the civil war didn't bring about equality; and indeed the current statistics on inequality, par
Bryan Craig
This Pulitzer winner is a good one. I knew nothing about the prisoner enslavement system post-Civil War. Eye-opening. This is a must read for anyone interested in civil rights.
Andrea Blythe

“Only by acknowledging the full extent of slavery's full grip on U.S. Society — its intimate connections to present day wealth and power, the depth of its injury to black Americans, the shocking nearness in time of its true end — can we reconcile the paradoxes of current American life.”
– Douglas A. Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name

When I was in high school, in regard to black history, I remember learning about the slavery and Civil War, and then jumping ahead to the civil rights movement, with o
Michael Andersen-Andrade
My generation studied American History every year in school, and every single year we never got farther than the end of the Civil War, as if all the great issues had been resolved by 1865. America's greatest sin and crime against humanity--slavery--did not end at the Emancipation Proclamation. It simply morphed into an even more cruel and efficient form. White capitalists and landowners no longer needed to own slaves and pay for their maintenance in order to protect their investment.
Using the po
I want to read this book because of this distressing blog post: Slavery Lasted Until Pearl Harbor .

Publishers Weekly:
Wall Street Journal bureau chief Blackmon gives a groundbreaking and disturbing account of a sordid chapter in American history-the lease (essentially the sale) of convicts to "commercial interests" between the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th. Usually, the criminal offense was loosely defined vagrancy or even "changing employers without permission." The initial sen
In this exhaustively researched, footnoted and detailed book Mr. Blackmon explains the origin of chain gangs and slavery-type work contracts that came into being shortly after emancipation and persisted until the 1950s! I was reading this while I read The Help and it provided a backdrop for how the South could have remained so segregated for so long. Black workers were arrested on spurious charges, convicted in "courts" held outside of taverns and sentenced to outrageous fines and fees, all in t ...more
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Douglas A. Blackmon is an American writer and a Pulitzer Prize winner. He won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.

Based on a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Slavery by Another Name unearths the lost stories of tens of thousands of slaves and their descendants who
More about Douglas A. Blackmon...

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“When white Americans frankly peel back the layers of our commingled pasts, we are all marked by it. Whether a company or an individual, we are marred either by our connections to the specific crimes and injuries of our fathers and their fathers. Or we are tainted by the failures of our fathers to fulfill our national credos when their courage was most needed. We are formed in molds twisted by the gifts we received at the expense of others. It is not our “fault.” But it is undeniably our inheritance.” 8 likes
“Only by acknowledging the full extent of slavery's full grip on U.S. Society - its intimate connections to present day wealth and power, the depth of its injury to black Americans, the shocking nearness in time of its true end - can we reconcile the paradoxes of current American life.” 4 likes
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