Thursday, September 10, 2009

Douglas Blackmon, author of Slavery By Another Name

The Friends of the Albany Public Library are joining with the New York State Writers Institute to co-sponsor a presentation by 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning author Douglas Blackmon at the main branch of the Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Avenue on Thursday, September 24th at 7:30 PM.

Blackmon is the author of Slavery By Another Name.

Watch and listen to this segment with Blackmon on the June 20, 2009 episode of Bill Moyers' Journal.

From the Moyers page:

Blackmon's book tells the unfamiliar story of 'neo-slavery' that reached beyond the de-facto slavery of tenant farming and debt peonage.

"Under laws enacted specifically to intimidate blacks, tens of thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily arrested, hit with outrageous fines, and charged for the costs of their own arrests. With no means to pay these ostensible 'debts,' prisoners were sold as forced laborers to coal mines, lumber camps, brickyards, railroads, quarries and farm plantations. Thousands of other African Americans were simply seized by southern landowners and compelled into years of involuntary servitude."

It was a system that Blackmon found carried on in some areas until the early days of World War II.

The Blackmon event at APL is free and open to the public.

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