Picture of Malcolm Scannell
Malcolm's "Slavery by Another Name" Discussion Post
by Malcolm Scannell - Thursday, December 10, 2015, 09:43 PM

The creator of the documentary “Slavery by Another Name” uses the knowledge of several esteemed historians as well as dramatic reenactments to portray the ways in which the Southern United States clung to the institution of enslavement following the end of the Civil War and the enoforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. To do so, Southerners devised systems that mirrored the economic, political, and cultural structure of the institution of enslavement in order to sustain their free-labor dependent economy. Towards the beginning of the film, there is a lengthy discussion about the system known as “Convict Leasing”, which was a practice of labor that would allow merchants to “lease” convicted felons to wealthy landowners, where they would often work in mines, on railroads, or farms. Essentially, Convict Leasing and other systems very similar to it were thinly masked continuations of the Southern United State’s institution of enslavement. Since they first set foot in the South in 1619, Southern land and plantation owners have systematically deprived enslaved people of freedom and liberty, while also exploiting their free labor. While in theory, African Americans were liberated from the evils of enslavement with the end of the war and the Emancipation Proclamation, the reality was that they faced ongoing marginalization and oppression that would not be diligently fought until the Civil Rights movement during the 1960's.