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    Convict leasing

    Convict leasing was a system of penal labor practiced in the Southern United States, beginning with the emancipation of slaves at the end of the American Civil War in 1865, peaking around 1880, and officially ending in the last state, Alabama, in 1928. It persisted in various forms until World War II.
    The writer Douglas A. Blackmon described the system:

        "It was a form of bondage distinctly different from that of the antebellum South in that for most men, and the relatively few women drawn in, this slavery did not last a lifetime and did not automatically extend from one generation to the next. But it was nonetheless slavery – a system in which armies of free men, guilty of no crimes and entitled by law to freedom, were compelled to labor without compensation, were repeatedly bought and sold, and were forced to do the bidding of white masters through the regular application of extraordinary physical coercion.

    It built the southern industrial base. At one time the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company was the second largest steel producer in the USA. It merged with US Steel in 1907. They used thousands of "leased" convicts in their mines and factories. Many died through beatings, malnutrition and disease.

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:42:01 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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