From the Los Angeles Times: “Slavery By Another Name,” a new PBS documentary, explores and upends what producers say is a widely accepted notion: that slavery in America came to a halt with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film shows that while chattel slavery ended in the South in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pushed into forced labor that exposed them to brutality, abuse and death.
Or as narrator Laurence Fishburne says introducing the film, African Americans “were no longer slaves, but not yet free.” Men were arrested, forced to work without pay, and were mistreated by cruel masters. The system of forced labor took place in the North and South, and lasted into the 20th century.
“It could have been different and should have been different,” said Douglas A. Blackmon, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book that inspired the film and gave it its title, during a session during the PBS portion of the first day of the Television Critics Assn. press tour. Blaming the government, Blackmon called the continuation of slavery “an astonishing failure of modern society.”
He added, “It’s a story of how America failed,” showing how whites had lost faith that blacks could be fully integrated into the mainstream.
Click here to read the rest of this story.