In Blackmon 's book "Slavery by Another Name," he argues the existence of slavery after it was outlawed in 1865. This continued presence of slavery contributes to the existing racial problems faced in this day and age. On April 8, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was passed, by Congress and The House, outlawing slavery. Although this amendment was passed as Blackmon points out there were ways around this amendment. Blackmon addresses four of the many ways that people would enslave blacks after the amendment was passed, those being convict leasing, sharecropping, chain gangs and peonage. This essay will go into depth on these four points and will tell a personal critic on Blackmon 's work.
The first issue that will be addressed is convict leasing. Convict leasing in short is when black prisoners would be "hired" by companies to do forced labor. "Emboldened by the betrayal from the nation 's most eminent legal minds, the men controlling the mines and labor camps of the South adopted even more flimsy ruses of justification for black men 's imprisonment. (pg.111) This quote is just an example of how convict leasing influenced the amount of blacks being arrested. If more slaves were needed in a camp or mine the reason for arrest would be trumped-up. "In an 1898 convict board report, the largest category in a table listing charges on which the convicts were imprisoned was "Not Given." No one even bothered to invent a legal basis for their enslavement. (pg. 112) " This is evidence of the cruelty that convict leasing caused. If a prison was "hired" by a company to supply labor the high demand would cause unlawful arrest. These unlawful arrest would supply the demand but not for long eventually enough prisoners would die and again ...
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... "Every figure who chose to continue slavery is dead.(pg. 387)" and " In my quest to find Green Cottenham, I also discovered and unsettling truth that when white Americans peel back the layers of our commingled pasts, we all are marked by it. (pg. 394)" To me these quotes revealed to me the reality of how slavery affects everyone. No matter how you want to escape it, or put it past you in some way or form slavery affected you and your family. Whether you were a white man who made blacks endure convict leasing, peonage, chain gangs, and sharecropping, or if you were a black man forced to endure this cruel punishment slavery marks all of our lives. It was these acts of slavery that lead to the acts of segregation we endure today. Therefore, it is the job of us today to rectify the mistakes of the past and move forward to a bright and encouraging future.
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