Based on the Pulitzer-Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon, Slavery By Another Name tells the stories of men, charged with crimes like vagrancy, but often guilty of nothing, who were bought and sold, abused, and subjected to deadly working conditions as unpaid convict labor, continuing until the era of World War II. The documentary recounts the many ways in which American slavery persisted for many decades after its supposed abolition. It documents the shocking and long unacknowledged reality and the catastrophic effects of a huge system of forced labor, rooted in a corrupt criminal justice system and the widespread racism of white Americans in every region. Against the backdrop of contemporary police shooting controversies, mass incarceration and the Black Lives Matter movement, the historical evidence and interviews with the descendants of victims and perpetrators resonate with modern audiences. Cristina Comer, who discovered how her family profited from the system, comments that …
Douglas A Blackmon
User Reviews: This 90-minute PBS documentary, based upon the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon, eviscerates one of America’s most cherished myths: the belief that slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. "Slavery by Another Name" documents how thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality, sanctioned by the judicial and legislative system, and propelled by the loss of slave labor after the Civil War.
African Americans were systematically charged for petty crimes, and sentenced to hard labor working for former white slave owners. "Convict leasing" became "Slavery by Another Name", coercing African American "convicts" to work on chain-gangs and for major corporations. A form of "industrial slavery", these purported convicts, who worked on month-to-month leases, were used and disposed of at will. Moreover, the brutality imposed on "prisoners" in the last part of the 19th and first half of the 20th century was identical to that used against slaves prior to the Civil War. The mortality rate was as high as 30-40% or more. No records were kept.