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Slavery Did Not End in 1865
A presentation by Antoinette Africa Harrell
You probably think that the enslavement of African Americans ended with the defeat of the Confederacy in 1865. But that’s not the case. Douglas Blackmon’s Pulitzer Prize winning book Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (subject of a PBS documentary of the same name) documents the persistence of slavery, and other forms of compelled labor, well into the 20th century. According to Blackmon, American slavery did not technically end until 1941, when the Roosevelt administration cracked down on it as part of the war effort.
Antoinette Harrell had done remarkable work documenting the persistence of race-based slavery in remote areas of the American south. She has gained the trust of elderly African Americans, who have testified that they were enslaved during the 1940s, 1950s and even 1960s.
It is remarkable work. For a taste of it, spend twenty minutes watching the Vice documentary Slavery Detective of the South.
On April 11, Antoinette Harrell will be giving a presentation on her work at the University of New England. It will be a hybrid event, with an in-person audience and a live stream. Please consider joining us in one way or the other, and spreading the word!