“You must resist the common urge toward the comforting narrative of divine law, toward fairy tales that imply some irrepressible justice. The enslaved were not bricks in your road, and their lives were not chapters in your redemptive history.
They were people turned to fuel for the American machine. Enslavement was not destined to end, and it is wrong to claim our present circumstance—no matter how improved—as the redemption for the lives of people who never asked for the posthumous, untouchable glory of dying for their children. Our triumphs can never compensate for this.” ? Ta-Nehisi Coates”Slavery by Another Name” was about the increasement in black prisoners who was led by many whites to believe there was a rise in black crimes that could deteriorated their beliefs in the relationship between criminality and race.
For Southern African Americans, as historian Fitzhugh Brundage points out in the film that, “this system also created disillusionment about the significance of Emancipation and cynicism about the possibility of true justice in America.”The “American dream” has always been the minority nightmare. Slavery has been a repeating cycle since the beginning of white power. Students are taught in most schools that slavery ended with President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. However, after watching Douglas Blackmon’s “Slavery by Another Name” I am clearly convinced that slavery has continued for many years and is still going on today in present time. Slavery continued and ended in 1942, this is when the condition of “neo-slavery” began.
Neo-slavery was practiced after the Emancipation Proclamation and until the beginning of World War II. Neo-slavery was the practice of abducting African Americans, and/or imprisoning them based on exaggerated or false criminal charges and forcing them into servitude sentences that was unjust. “The following persons are vagrants a labor or servant who loiters away his time, any such person may be sent to the common jail of the county.” In my opinion slavery still exists today through racism and prejudice. Prejudice is evident against all kinds of people; poor, rich, black, Hispanic, white, old and young, male and female. States and cities targeted black lives and crimes against African American men and women in 1874. Pig laws where enforced in Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Pig law is unfairly penalized poor African Americans for crimes such as stealing a farm animal.
And vagrancy statutes made it a crime to be unemployed. Many misdemeanors or trivial offenses were treated as felonies, with harsh sentences and fines. In further detain enhancing penalties to felonies meant that if you where to commit a theft in the amount of a dollar or more your sentence resulted in time sentencing of 5 years or more. Also, if you weren’t employed when any white man would ask you where you worked you where automatically inclined to be incarcerated.
These harsh crimes led to whites being able to rent prisons who were typically stronger and had longer sentences. This put African Americans back at slavery after being told that they where fee. Alabama profited 14,000 $ in leasing slaves and by the 2nd year they where at the profit of 100,00$. Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia were many states who participated in the pig law and prison leasing.
By 1890, African Americans made up ninety percent of the Southern prison population. “The labor of these convicts rebuilt the agricultural economy but also helped to develop new mining, timber, and brick industries.” (direct quote from documentary) 9,000 of those who was convicted leasing system died before there release due to lynching, disease, and harsh work conditions. Literally working the black man to death.