Slavery in the U.S.A. Lasted More Than 250 Years

Slavery in America Today


Slavery in America has defined and structured the relationship between whites and blacks.  It also affects race relations between other minorities and whites as well as blacks.  Race is an important topic in the lives of black people as they are directly affected by racism via the experiences of their ancestors or their current situation.  This affects their financial, mental, political, and physical situation (Alexander, 2010).

The New Jim Crow
Legal racism and slavery in the modern age.

Slavery is said to have lasted only 245 years, but it is being argued that it has been reinvented with the current Prison Industrial Complex and the War on Drugs.  Michelle Alexander’s book, the “New Jim Crow” explains that very well.  Alexander explains that free corporate labor for criminalized citizens serve as tool of slavery and sometimes cheap labor.  Being that many of the men and women incarcerated in those systems, where corporate slavery is occurring, are black, then it recreates what slavery was prior to the Emancipation Proclamation and a few years afterwards (Alexander, 2010).

And despite slavery’s assumed abolition in 1865 with the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery still continued via other avenues or in the same archetypal manner (Velez, 2012).

Slavery into the 20th Century

After the Emancipation Proclamation, many southern states did not conform to the act.  Slavery has been a way of life and an important economic tool for their families.  This is why many slave owners offered share cropping to families who needed work.  With all this, it was clear that for many blacks, that they would remain slaves in a literal or figurative sense for a while.  Slavery is indeed the economic strength that maintains this country (Baptist, 2014).

In “Slavery by Another Name”, new forms of slavery or traditional slavery is recounted by interviewees.  Click on the link to be taken to the PBS site that hosts the video (PBS, 2017).

References and What to Read and Watch:

Alexander, M. (2010). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York, NY: The New Press.

Baptist, E. (2014). THE HALF HAS NEVER BEEN TOLD. New York, NY: Basic Books.

PBS. (2017). Slavery by Another Name. Retrieved from

Velez, D. (2012). The Lie About When Slavery Ended.  Retrieved from