The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Slavery by Another Name

As our world show signs of obvious manifestations of a past some so long to forget, there are authors who continue to research and write about the enslavement of people. Doug Blackmon is one such author (and historian).  His book "Slavery by Another Name," is catching quite a 'buzz'.  While the author's  book apparently focuses on the United Stets of America, I suggest his premise and associated work span the globe. And, that span hits every corner of our ROUND globe and infiltrates every centimeter.

You can rest assured I will do all I can to secure a copy of this work within the next few weeks.

A few words from Blackmon offered as a synopsis.

The Book

Slavery by Another Name:
The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II
Author: Douglas A. Blackmon
Publisher: Doubleday, $29.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-385-50625-0
On Sale: March 25, 2008

The Age of Neo-Slavery
In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history—when a cynical new form of slavery was resurrected from the ashes of the Civil War and re-imposed on hundreds of thousands of African-Americans until the dawn of World War II.

Undr laws enacted specifically to intimidate blacks, tens of thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily arrested, hit with outrageous fines, and charged for the costs of their own arrests. With no means to pay these ostensible “debts,” prisoners were sold as forced laborers to coal mines, lumber camps, brickyards, railroads, quarries and farm plantations. Thousands of other African Americans were simply seized by southern landowners and compelled into years of involuntary servitude. Government officials leased falsely imprisoned blacks to small-town entrepreneurs, provincial farmers, and dozens of corporations—including U.S. Steel Corp.—looking for cheap and abundant labor. Armies of "free" black men labored without compensation, were repeatedly bought and sold, and were forced through beatings and physical torture to do the bidding of white masters for decades after the official abolition of American slavery.
The neoslavery system exploited legal loopholes and federal policies which discouraged prosecution of whites for continuing to hold black workers against their wills. As it poured millions of dollars into southern government treasuries, the new slavery also became a key instrument in the terrorization of African Americans seeking full participation in the U.S. political system.
Based on a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude. It also reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the modern companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the system’s final demise in the 1940s, partly due to fears of enemy propaganda about American racial abuse at the beginning of World War II.
SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME is a moving, sobering account of a little-known crime against African Americans, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.
Bill Moyers is one of the very few remaining 'old school' (credible) electronic journalist. Once, I viewed his Part 1 video, I was committed to purchase and reading Blackmon's book.

Since I have not read the book as yet, I can only offer a series of video productions. An introductory video with another set of two from  includes Bill Moyers continue to broadcast.

YouTube video

Bill Moyers (Part 1)

Bill Moyers (Part 2)

I have recently written about major paradigm shifts forced upon many in the nation as Barack Obama took the Inauguration Oath in 2009. The horrors of awakening and realizing that the previous November a 'black man' had actually won the presidency with a landslide electoral vote. (The actual vote was not a landslide, but the electoral collage surely delivered a landslide "early" victory that evening).  The Horror!

The institution of slavery not only had a dehumanizing and longstanding affect on the American psyche, slavery set paradigms that manifest today. Abe Lincoln himself was an avowed racist in his belief that Whites were of superior intellect. He also felt that black race should have been dispatched back to Africa after the Civil War. And, you really cannot honestly tell me you have never seen or heard someone give the impression they feel more intelligent than a black person simply based on racial differences. If you can tell my such, I admire your management of your life such that racial stereotypes do not meet your eyes or your ears. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been introduced to s person only to hear, as I walked, away, "very intelligent".  While some will find a positive construction from that last sentence, I was there and (at times) the  positive construction is wasted in my personal knowledge of the need for the person introducing and their need to validate the introduction. Or, better, yet, like saying, "he is not of the ordinary, he is an intelligent black person".   The paradigms roll-on and on like the rolling hills of the great state of California. Or, as mentioned in the previous post, someone telling me they are surprised that I had read some of the same books they read. And there-in lies the "In their place" syndrome that continues to afflict the less educated and the less informed, along with people who have been raised as bigots and who raise their families in the very same manner. 

People often comment about the business of repatriations or the 'guilt complex". I suspect Doug Blackmon has no interest in either of the aforementioned as a fundamental focus of this work.  Both, in my opinion, are exponentially ridiculous as the vast majority of African-Americans have no interest in either. Conversely, African-Americans and millions other Americans, should relish that fact the people still write about social issues that some many strive to 'revise' out of our history.  Worse yet, think of the large numbers of people who have no idea about the outcomes of the Civil War and the undeclared wars against equality staged by people who continue to fight the war. Example, the "in-your-face" continued display of the Confederate Flag outside of the capital building Great State of South Carolina.

Blackmon's work will be read only by people who have a quest for knowledge well beyond the ordinary. I strongly suspect the book will not be top on the reading list of many African-Americans. If for no other reason because people, in general, simply do not read books in this day of instant gratification from the ding of a Facebook alert or Twit notification. And, that is a shame!

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