Slavery by Another Name

Slavery by Another Name

The Re-enslavement of Black People in America From the Civil War to World War II / Douglas A. Blackmon

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.

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 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—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 that 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.

Baker & Taylor
Bringing to light a shameful chapter in American history, a shocking study reveals how, from the late 1870s through the mid-twentieth century, thousands of African-American men were arrested and forced to work off the outrageous fines by serving as unpaid labor to small-town businesses, provincial farmers, and even large corporations. 30,000 first printing.

& Taylor

Reveals how, from the late 1870s through the mid-twentieth century, thousands of African-American men were arrested and forced to work off outrageous fines by serving as unpaid labor to businesses and provincial farmers.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385506250
Characteristics: x, 468 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 22, 2017

The "re-enslavement of black people from the Civil War to World War II" was due to CHOICE. The choice was either Booker T. Washington and his vision (Tuskegee Institute) for the American Negro or W.E.B. Du Boise and his Niagara Movement (aka NAACP) for the Colored-Black-African American; the enslavement was in choosing the latter. Read The Chronicles of Booker T. Washington by William Richard Kraft and Death In 60 Days: Who Killed Booker T. Washington by Paulette Horton-Davis. The so-called African American enslaved themselves....and we are paying in spades for it!

Oct 09, 2016

A riveting account of conditions faced by African Americans during Reconstruction and beyond. A hard hitting book, a definite must read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of race relations in America.

Jun 02, 2016

Probably the single most important book I have read on the subject of race relations in the U.S.A. The winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2008, this book caused me to adjust my thinking about this topic. I don't think it is possible to be informed on this topic without reading this book - a very strong statement, and one I have never made before, but in this case, I think it is warranted.

Jan 30, 2015

Great book for us to know regardling the history of our nation. Everyone should be aware of this portion of US history and the horrible treatment some blacks went through during this time. Slavery is closer to our generation than some may realize.


Add Age Suitability
Jan 30, 2015

Bluejay_4 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SMCL

To Top