Taking Back What Was Once Lost

Slavery By Any Other Name

One of the best books I’ve read this year was called “Slavery By Any Other Name: The Re-Enslavement of Blacks in America from the Civil War through World War II” by Douglas Blackmon. The book focuses on the convict labor system that developed in the South and the author brilliantly crafts the book around specific examples. It’s a part of history I knew little, if anything about. It will enlighten you on the times our ancestors in 1900, 1910, 1920, etc. suffered under especially if they were indigent. It’s good background for writing your family history especially if your family lived in one of the areas where this ran rampant (Alabama was one). I found a terrific 2-part DemocracyNow! interview with the author that I am posting below. His discussions about the Chattahootchie(sp?) Brick Yard outside Atlanta, the banking system’s complicity, and World War II putting an end to most of it are intriguing. (There’s about a 1:15 minute photo/song montage at the beginning, then the interview will start.)


  1. September 22, 2009    

    Very interesting. Thank you so much for sharing this. It strengthens my belief in the case for reparations.

    • September 23, 2009    

      Thanks. The book is really–really–good. Makes me sad, like such of this does, but information is power.

  2. September 23, 2009    

    Heading to the bookstore today — now I know what I’ll be reading.

    Thanks Robyn!:-)


    P.S. We already know where I stand on reparations — probably lost half of my OGR following from voicing my opinion but hey, it is what it is. This is our ANCESTORS just due.

    • September 28, 2009    

      Thanks Luckie–the book is heartbreaking, but I’m all for getting as much information on our African holocaust as I can….

  3. September 25, 2009    

    Thanks for posting this Robyn. Very sobering and one can only weep at the thousands of lives that were destroyed for so long.

    So very sad and we all know it to be true.

    • September 28, 2009    

      Angela, yes— and hopefully we all collectively will add to the narrative by recording for our descendants to histories we are all uncovering with our families. Thanks for commenting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

First Time Visitor?

Welcome! Please go to the link above titled "Start Here." If you like the content, do join us by free subscription via email below so you can be notified of new posts.

About Me

I blog, teach, write and lecture about family history research and it's just as rewarding today as it was when I began 18 years ago. This lifelong quest has helped me to better know my past and I've taken back--reclaimed- my kin and some of that lost memory.  

Post History

What I Talk About

Locations and Surnames

Hardin, Chester and Lawrence Counties, TN
Holt, Barnes, Harbour, Bradley Springer and Fendricks
Lawrence County, AL
Springer and Fendricks
Montgomery County, MD
Prather, Simpson
Somerset County, MD
Waters, Fountain, Curtis
Duval and Madison County, FL
Smith, Harris, Garner

Favorite Family History Quotes

"The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past."
-William Faulkner

"Call it a clan, call it a network, all it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one"
- Jane Howard

"Friends are God's apologies for relations."
-Hugh Kingsmill

"No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?"
-Elbert Hubbard

"Families are like fudge; mostly sweet with a few nuts."

"If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you might as well make it dance!"

"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city;)"
-George Burns

"Where does the family start? It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl. No superior alternative has yet been found."
-Winston Churchill

"The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never ever introduce yourself to had life not done it for you."
-Kendall Hailey

"If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all the generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people."
-Thich Nhat Hanh