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Wed Jan 16, 2013, 04:17 AM

The South's Shocking Hidden History: Thousands of Blacks Forced Into Slavery Until WW2

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/souths-shocking-hidden-history-thousands-blacks-forced-slavery-until-ww2

On July 31, 1903, a letter addressed to President Theodore Roosevelt arrived at the White House. It had been mailed from the town of Bainbridge, Georgia, the prosperous seat of a cotton county perched on the Florida state line.

The sender was a barely literate African American woman named Carrie Kinsey. With little punctuation and few capital letters, she penned the bare facts of the abduction of her fourteen-year-old brother, James Robinson, who a year earlier had been sold into involuntary servitude.

Kinsey had already asked for help from the powerful white people in her world. She knew where her brother had been taken—a vast plantation not far away called Kinderlou. There, hundreds of black men and boys were held in chains and forced to labor in the fields or in one of several factories owned by the McRee family, one of the wealthiest and most powerful in Georgia. No white official in this corner of the state would take an interest in the abduction and enslavement of a black teenager.

Confronted with a world of indifferent white people, Mrs. Kinsey did the only remaining thing she could think of. Newspapers across the country had recently reported on a speech by Roosevelt promising a “square deal” for black Americans. Mrs. Kinsey decided that her only remaining hope was to beg the president of the United States to help her brother.

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Reply The South's Shocking Hidden History: Thousands of Blacks Forced Into Slavery Until WW2 (Original post)
xchrom Jan 2013 OP
loyalsister Jan 2013 #1
Tutonic Jan 2013 #63
loyalsister Jan 2013 #66
revolution breeze Jan 2013 #72
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #2
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #3
Scootaloo Jan 2013 #4
Scuba Jan 2013 #5
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #6
Scuba Jan 2013 #8
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #18
Scuba Jan 2013 #20
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #32
freshwest Jan 2013 #39
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #23
BlancheSplanchnik Jan 2013 #47
SemperEadem Jan 2013 #12
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #54
SemperEadem Jan 2013 #11
freshwest Jan 2013 #40
Euphoria Jan 2013 #57
Luminous Animal Jan 2013 #53
UnrepentantLiberal Jan 2013 #7
reflection Jan 2013 #15
Aristus Jan 2013 #24
reflection Jan 2013 #29
Aristus Jan 2013 #30
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #61
Politicub Jan 2013 #51
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #9
SemperEadem Jan 2013 #10
Blue_Tires Jan 2013 #34
tclambert Jan 2013 #13
freshwest Jan 2013 #62
idwiyo Jan 2013 #14
nc4bo Jan 2013 #16
ellie Jan 2013 #17
Hugabear Jan 2013 #28
hughee99 Jan 2013 #38
Mr Dixon Jan 2013 #19
JCMach1 Jan 2013 #21
Solly Mack Jan 2013 #22
Romulox Jan 2013 #25
CreekDog Jan 2013 #27
noiretextatique Jan 2013 #45
BlancheSplanchnik Jan 2013 #48
Uncle Joe Jan 2013 #43
demosincebirth Jan 2013 #26
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #31
BlancheSplanchnik Jan 2013 #49
joeybee12 Jan 2013 #33
shanti Jan 2013 #35
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2013 #36
gollygee Jan 2013 #37
uponit7771 Jan 2013 #41
malaise Jan 2013 #42
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #50
Hissyspit Jan 2013 #58
malaise Jan 2013 #68
Liberal_in_LA Jan 2013 #44
Warren Stupidity Jan 2013 #46
limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #52
Third Doctor Jan 2013 #55
Hissyspit Jan 2013 #59
Brigid Jan 2013 #56
caseymoz Jan 2013 #60
SouthernDonkey Jan 2013 #64
Land Shark Jan 2013 #65
im1013 Jan 2013 #67
drm604 Jan 2013 #69
TuxedoKat Jan 2013 #71
marmar Jan 2013 #70

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 04:42 AM

1. Slavery never ended

and it has exploded in recent years. One thing I have heard from more than one racist is that "they" need to move on because the Civil War ended, etc. At this point, slavery in America is diverse and includes white people who also often work under terrible conditions and are barely getting by.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:31 AM

63. No, travel down to the Delta and observe the living conditions and "indentured" blacks

and you will not compare them to white people who work under terrible conditions. Slavery did not end after WWII. There were black families in 1965 that were owned by white southerners. I'm guessing that they are still indebted to relatives of those same southerners today.

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Response to Tutonic (Reply #63)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 03:49 AM

66. I fully agree

That wasn't a totally accurate comparison.

At the same time, modern human trafficking has expanded the slavery in America beyond tradition. People of color. Immigrants from a wide range of nationalities and races are slaves in this country today.

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Response to Tutonic (Reply #63)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:56 AM

72. My father's family were sharecroppers near Meridian, Mississippi

Though not "slaves", they had a very meager existence, as they always seemed to always owe the land owner at the end of harvesting. When his oldest sister was 15, he married her off to one of his friends. Oldest brother was "sent" to work at another friend's, against my grandparents wishes. They never saw him again. When World War II broke out, my father and his remaining three brothers saw a way out, hopped a train to Meridian and elisted in the Navy, even lying about my Uncle Charles's birthdate.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 04:54 AM

2. Awful

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 05:04 AM

3. kr

 

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 05:06 AM

4. Chain gangs are not hidden. Just ignored.

Same with the sharecropping system that extended plantation slavery to lower-class whites as well as blacks... and labor practices that effectively turned a hired worker into a slave.

Isabel Wilkerson's "The Warmth of Other Suns" is an amazing read but also a giant eye-opener.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 05:19 AM

5. Some days I'm ashamed to be an American ...


In the 1880s, Alabama, North Carolina, and Florida passed laws making it a crime for a black man to change employers without permission. It was a crime for a black man to speak loudly in the company of a white woman, a crime to have a gun in his pocket, and a crime to sell the proceeds of his farm to anyone other than the man he rented land from. It was a crime to walk beside a railroad line, a crime to fail to yield a sidewalk to white people, a crime to sit among whites on a train, and it was most certainly a crime to engage in sexual relations with—or, God forbid, to show true love and affection for—a white girl.

And that’s how it happened. Within a few years of the passage of these laws, tens of thousands of black men and boys, and a smaller number of black women, were being arrested and sold into forced labor camps by state officials, local judges, and sheriffs. During this time, some actual criminals were sold into slavery, and a small percentage of them were white. But the vast majority were black men accused of trivial or trumped-up crimes. Compelling evidence indicates that huge numbers had in fact committed no offense whatsoever. As the system grew, countless white farmers and businessmen jostled to “lease” as many black “criminals” as they could. Soon, huge numbers of other African Americans were simply being kidnapped and sold into slavery.

The forced labor camps they found themselves in were islands of squalor and brutality. Thousands died of disease, malnourishment, and abuse. Mortality rates in some years exceeded 40 percent. At the same time, this new slavery trade generated millions of dollars for state and local governments—for many years it was the single largest source of income for the state of Alabama. As these laws and practices expanded across the South, they became the primary means to terrorize African Americans, and to coerce them into going along with other exploitative labor arrangements, like sharecropping, that are more familiar to twenty-first-century Americans.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 05:46 AM

6. Our American Holocaust

All that was missing were gas chambers and mass graves.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 05:53 AM

8. The mass graves are out there, they just need to be found.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:49 AM

18. Are you referring to burial grounds?

Or to sites of mass executions?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 10:00 AM

20. Why would it matter?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:02 PM

32. Thank you. n/t

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Response to Scuba (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:33 PM

39. It doesn't matter. They were robbed of their place in the sun, that they should have had.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:28 AM

23. Worked to death or executed....what's the difference?...

...the WWII Nazis certainly saw no difference, and neither did the Soviets in the Ukraine and Siberia.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:19 PM

47. +1 you speak truth. n/t

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:16 AM

12. the noose took the place of gas chambers

and the graves are out there.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:25 AM

54. Our 2nd holocaust.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:15 AM

11. "we want our country back..."

this is the shit they're talking about.

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Response to SemperEadem (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:34 PM

40. Yeah, they want to live off what they stole from others - their freedom, their labor, their lives.

What is stolen is not yours, and trying to hold onto it makes a person crazy.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #40)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:41 AM

57. So so true

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Response to Scuba (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:22 AM

53. Still happening... disproportionate sentencing for black folks and prison labor...

A modern slavery system.

I've done sentencing advocacy for years AND FEW GIVE A FLYING FUCK.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 05:50 AM

7. This is why I have no desire to live in the South.

 

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:13 AM

15. I live in TN and you are spot on.

I am caring for an aged parent right now. Not trying to be morbid, just practical... when I am able, I am going to leave this place behind and wipe it from my memory. I have some wonderful Democratic friends, but otherwise, there is so much racism and hatred here that it is unbearable.

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Response to reflection (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:30 AM

24. "Oh, but the South is so put-upon and misunderstood!" in 3...2...1...

I was born and raised in the South. I know very well the attitudes that continue there even today. It's one of the reasons why I don't live there anymore. I hope the apologists try harder to make the South the place they claim it to be.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #24)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:53 AM

29. It hurts to hear people bash the South

because I have lived here all my life and it hits me personally when I hear it, but I just can't deny it's different here. Like any large group of people, there is a whole spectrum of Southerners ranging from thoughtful, wonderful people to mouth-breathing knuckle draggers, but it's the average that is markedly different than other places.

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Response to reflection (Reply #29)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:56 AM

30. I agree. I grew up with a number of things about the South that I loved.

But the bad things are too bad to simply accept by way of "taking the bad with the good".

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Response to reflection (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:05 AM

61. The south is different as any internal colony is different. Other internal colonies include:

 

appalachia
urban ghettos
indian reservations

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Response to reflection (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:48 PM

51. Me, too, reflection. I had to move back to care for aging parents.

I grew up in the south and moved to California for several years. Moved back 10 years ago. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:11 AM

9. Thank you. Kick. Rec. n/t

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:14 AM

10. that is the country that the tea farts want to be taken back to

So when you hear them talk about "get our country back", "heritage", "a simpler time", this is the shit to which those dog whistles are referring.

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Response to SemperEadem (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:18 PM

34. +1000

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:40 AM

13. Right to Work.

But you wanna quit? Get the rope!

Capitalism run wild leads to killing people if you can make a penny of profit off it.

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Response to tclambert (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:15 AM

62. What Martin Luther King, Jr. knew:

Negroes are almost entirely a working people. There are pitifully few Negro millionaires, and few Negro employers. Our needs are identical with labor's needs — decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community. That is why Negroes support labor's demands and fight laws which curb labor.

That is why the labor-hater and labor-baiter is virtually always a twin-headed creature spewing anti-Negro epithets from one mouth and anti-labor propaganda from the other mouth.


AFL-CIO Convention, December 1961



What Martin Luther King had to say about Right to Work 1961!

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021958389

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021974576

Fascism is well-armed capitalism.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 08:52 AM

14. K&R

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:24 AM

16. Thank you so much for posting.

My soul weeps..........

So much injustice......

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:40 AM

17. But, but, states rights!

Or some shit. God I hate those people.

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Response to ellie (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:52 AM

28. That is EXACTLY what people mean by "states rights"

Anytime you hear someone complaining about "states right", what they really want is the ability to deny someone else their federal civil rights.

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #28)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:31 PM

38. Unless one is talking about Marijuana or DOMA

in which case the state has the right to decriminalize marijuana or allow same sex marriages without the federal government getting involved.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:58 AM

19. SMH

History should never be forgotten, the truth is always the last to come to light. Slavery has been advanced thru prisons and sex slavery for profit, most of the missing children and young females IMO are being sold into sex slavery. With prisons on the stock market being owned by corporations charging the states X-amount per body, people working for 22 cents an hour WTF? Maybe the Asian sweat shops are not so bad?

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 10:11 AM

21. Slavery Just went corporate with Share-Cropping

and temporary picking work...

And yes, I am sure there were some horrific ongoing abuses not to mention mass human rights abuses like Rosewood and the Tulsa race riots that were purposefully purged from history for generations.

But, the South is full of contradictions. In the early 19teens, my family adopted the deaf, orphaned son of a man who had worked side by side with them in their logging business. My uncle, still lived with my two old maid aunts until the time of his death.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:20 AM

22. K&R

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:31 AM

25. If only the 14 year old black kid had been smoking a joint...many here would *applaud* his

detention.

Slavery turned into Jim Crow. Jim Crow never ended. It is a main driver of the War on Drugs.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #25)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:52 AM

27. if the kid was 17 and black and had Skittles, some here would defend his killing

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #27)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 04:07 PM

45. you are right about that. racism runs deep

in the mind, heart, and soul of America. shameful history, and even more shameful is the denial of that history's impact on current laws, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #27)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:24 PM

48. I must have missed those posts....

And I'm damn glad I did.

Repulsive.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #25)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:50 PM

43. I agree, Romulox, combine the "War on Drugs" and for profit prisons and we

have the 20th/21st century version of slavery.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:48 AM

26. I lived in the South in the 50's and 60's and nothing would surprise surprise me about what happened

then and what happens now. Don't get me wrong, many decent people lived in the south at that time, but there still is a strong undercurrent of racism there which you don't see in other parts of the country.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:59 AM

31. My family oral history has it ...

that my Grand-mother attempt to visit her sister in Louisianna (circa 1945). She, and another male relative, were met at the plantation gate by several plantation workers and told, "Get away from here as fast as you can ... if you set foot inside this gate, you will never be allowed to leave."

Apparently, the local "tradition" was that any Black person that enter the grounds, with or without invitation, would be arrested, tried and convicted of trespassing (often, without the benefit of a judge or a jury) and sentenced to forced labor at the site of the "infraction."

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #31)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:27 PM

49. god....




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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:06 PM

33. This is sickening...knr

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:18 PM

35. k&r

heartbreaking story i googled kinderlou plantation. it's now a golf course/residential community. i wonder if the residents know of the horrors that went on there...

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:21 PM

36. Rogue government? It can't happen here.

Besides, resistance would be pointless and/or treasonous.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:23 PM

37. K&R

This history is not known as much as it should be. It should be in history books at schools. All kids learn at schools is rah rah USA USA chants. But our history is what it is - the good AND the bad - and we should learn it all so we can hopefully learn from it and become better.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:36 PM

41. omg

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:42 PM

42. Some years back a DUer recommended Douglas Blackmon's Slavery by Another Name

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Response to malaise (Reply #42)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:37 PM

50. Thanks for posting that.

It's going on my list.

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Response to malaise (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:42 AM

58. Yes, I remember hearing an interview with him when his book came out.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #58)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:55 AM

68. It is an excellent book

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 04:01 PM

44. k&r. Thanks for posting this story. I had no idea...

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 05:12 PM

46. They left out The Nadir when we were taught American history. NT.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:12 AM

52. rec'd

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:28 AM

55. I saw a documentary that dealt with this on PBS.

Living in the south I must day this does not surprise me.

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Response to Third Doctor (Reply #55)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:43 AM

59. See post #42.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:36 AM

56. I have read many heartbreaking stories on DU . . .

But this one takes the prize. The sheer scale of this just . . . Crying now.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:59 AM

60. I always thought this was Jim Crow


This was the very object of it, so I'm not surprised that black slavery in anything but name was found throughout the South.

At least it's documented, too. Now there's no escaping it.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:44 AM

64. I recently posted some photos..

In the photography group from my recent trip to Philadelphia, MS and Neshoba County.
I'm a 52 year old white male who was born and raised here. I dearly love the south. The country, the landscape, the climate even.
But the history is horrible and the racism, where it is present, is VERY obvious, and is always boiling right under the surface.

I met by chance and had conversations with five strangers during my visit there. Two of them were directly related to two of the men who were directly involved with the murders of the 3 civil rights workers, Cheney, Goodman, and Schwerner, in 1964, The Mississippi Burning case. The two men they are related to are Edgar Ray Killen, recently convicted as the KKK recruiter who was the mastermind behind it all; and Olen Burrage, in who's levy the young men were buried, who should have been convicted as well, but was never tried and has managed to skate justice all these years. I met them quite by accident. I drove right up into the middle of Killens family's homestead without realizing it. I stopped to ask a guy on the side of the road "exactly where the civil rights workers were killed." He leaned in my window and after a brief introduction and ascertaining that I wasn't a threat (and wouldn't put any of this on the internet! OOOPS!), informed me that he was Killens great nephew, and all these houses belong to Killen's, and "thats Edgar Rays house right there behind you". It was quite un-nerving for a moment. But he invited me to park and talk if I wanted, so I did. It was about 1/8th of a mile from where they murdered those boys...up the same road. For all intents and purposes, Edgar Rays driveway. It left no doubt in my mind as to Edgar Ray Killens guilt.

He was talkative and we spoke for about 15 minutes, but he didn't want to really discuss the murders; claiming "as far as we all are concerned there never was no murders!" The other I met, a nephew of Burrage, was downright hateful and rude and brushed me off altogether when I asked about taking some photos of the family farm.

There are many of that mindset still here. Still all over the south. Until these generations of folks die off those old attitudes will not change. BUT you must all know too there are a lot of good, hard working, non racist people here as well. I know them. I met them there also, in what remains as probably one of the most racially bitter areas of the south. Do not paint us all with a broad brush!

There are good caring people, who know and stand up for what is right. Thank God for those! If there weren't there would be no hope of things ever getting any better in the South. I live here. I see the hate. But I also see the hope!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 03:42 AM

65. K&R

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:09 AM

67. Grew up in a very liberal state...

and I honestly had no idea that this sort of thing even existed any more. I was
seriously that blind!

Then, I moved to "the country".... boy did I f*@#k up!

Saw this article in local AP news feed and it still sickens me.

[link:http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/10/us/mississippi-juvenile-justice/index.html|

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:54 AM

69. I remember seeing a TV show decades ago, I think in the 1960s.

I think the show was 60 minutes. I don't remember the details but they showed descendants of slaves, still living in the same slave quarters as their ancestors, and working the same fields. I don't recall if they received any pay, but if they did, it was very little. Apparently they couldn't leave (or at least thought they couldn't), either because they were debt slaves, or they were simply kept cowed and ignorant. The tone of the story was that they were modern day slaves and very little had changed for them (other than the fact that they couldn't be sold like animals and weren't legally considered to be property). This was after WWII.

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Response to drm604 (Reply #69)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:02 AM

71. Yes -- and for a good article about this subject

peonage/slavery, here is a great article about this from the Washington Post, from 1996. I was astounded and saddened when I first read it to learn this was still going on well after WWII.

http://www.greatlinx.com/peonage.htm

I want to get the book he mentions in the article: The Shadow of Slavery: Peonage in the South, 1901-69 by Pete Daniel.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:39 AM

70. k/r

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