Slavery by Another Name
Breaking rocks, 1930s, unknown location. From the author's website (

Prisoners at work in a rock quarry, most likely in the early 1940s. Photographer unknown. (Library of Congress; from

Americans think they know the sorry history of the post-Civil War South. Jim Crow laws hemming in African-Americans. Lynchings. Klansmen riding high.

In fact, the history is much sorrier even than that.

In an explosive work of investigative history that just won the Pulitzer Prize, a white son of Mississippi, Douglas Blackmon, has uncovered incredible virtual slavery that went on for decades after the Civil War. Black men chained, whipped, and bound in forced labor until almost World War II.

This hour, On Point: History denied and revealed — American slavery by another name.

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Douglas Blackmon joins us from Atlanta, Georgia. He won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction for his book “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.” He’s Atlanta bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, and his articles on race, wealth and other issues have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize four times. Born in Arkansas in 1964, and raised in Mississippi, he was in the first racially integrated class of children in Mississippi to begin the first grade together, in 1970.

More links:

Blackmon’s book has an impressive companion website. It includes a series of stunning and disturbing photo galleries, with images like the one below (see the full gallery here):

An unnamed prisoner tied around a pickax for punishment in a Georgia labor camp. Photograph by John L. Spivak, during research for his 1932 book, "Georgia Nigger."

An unnamed prisoner tied around a pickax for punishment in a Georgia labor camp. Photograph by John L. Spivak, during research for his 1932 book, "Georgia Nigger." (From "Slavery by Another Name," by Douglas Blackmon)

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