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Slavery By Another Name
by LAURA GILL - Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 09:51 PM
 

Slavery By Another Name exemplified how the black American population suffered during the period of reconstruction. Despite the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment, slavery still persisted in different forms. There were no laws to punish those who continued to own slaves, making it uncommon for the abolition of slavery to be properly enforced. The South devised legal forms of slavery, "renting" land to African Americans that became increasingly more and more indebted to the landowners, and exploiting black criminals, many of whom convicted for small or inconsequential crimes. The Vagrancy Law allowed growing numbers of black Americans to be arrested for struggling to find a job. Additionally, those who could not provide proof of their employment were vulnerable to being inducted into the harsh system of convict leasing. Most African Americans in the South faced the danger of being restricted to arduous slave labor for whatever infraction they could be accused of. They were forced to work in exceding dangerous mines for large companies like US Steel. "Chain gangs" forced blacks to work strenuously by the side of the road, chained to countless others. African Americans during the time period also faced intimidation and violence from terrorist groups that believed in keeping blacks from economic oppurtunities. The large majority of white Southerners were very poor and feared the presence that new employable people could have in the economy. The most prosperous blacks faced tremendous backlash from white supremecists and groups like the Ku Klux Klan. These harsh realities of post civil war America are not a part of the country's narrative about it's history, but the truth was that that the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments still left massive flaws in the way society treated black people.