OK, before everyone jumps on me all at once, my sincerest apologies for the lack of blogging during the month of February, things went off course, I mean in a good way that is, but what's in store was not expected in the least.
For starters the Grey Matters exhibit...It's still on, but let me tell ya, after reading an awesome book this past February entitled Slavery By Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon, and watching Roots and The Next Generation Miniseries over and over and over again, I saw and read things that made me say like....WHOA!!! I was forced to think twice before rushing to put out a half done exhibit, ya know? I mean I was knocked flat by the things this book alluded to that was not clearly shown or explained in Roots: The Next Generation.
The book goes into details in what was known in some circles as "The Black Codes". These were some of the most bogus laws ever drempt up, mainly intended to put Blacks back into another form of slavery. I came across this issue years back, but this book put it into clearer perspective. The author, who found out that some of his distant ancestors somehow benefitted from this rehashed form of slavery, wrote this book which focuses on one individual, but goes into detail about what happened to thousands of Blacks after the Civil War. Horrible deaths, sexual perversion and all types of crimes of humanity went without a hitch, and scores of convict graves have surfaced. The author also has planned to show a documentary on PBS this year, and you know me...I had to get the book if it was available, and whoop! THERE IT WAS!
Anyway, the story goes that after the "Emancipation Proclamation" many southern states sought other ways to enslave Blacks. They would concoct some of the most ridiculous reasons to arrest Blacks such as forbidding sharecroppers from selling their produce as night, so called vagrancy laws, talking loud in public or speaking disrespectfully in the presence of White women...oh boy...Then the person was taken to court and slapped with fines ranging from paying the arresting officer court fees and the like. Now of course the person did not have the money to pay it, so White plantation owners, or other corporations like the mineries and so forth would claim to pay the fines, in exchange for the "convict" to work off the fine in either their plantations, coalmines, railroads etc. There they were subjected to extremes that make the antebellum slavery look good. Many companies profitted big time from forced labor, and the companies, arresting officers and the neo-slaveowners got away virtually without a scratch.
Many Blacks had no idea of the convict-leasing system that went on in America, they were given the idea that the people broke the law, and so they deserved what they got. Just like today with the prison-industrial complex. Corporate media has skewered things so much as well as government propaganda, to where Americans actually believe those who enter the prisons deserve it, especially Blacks.
In a nutshell, I felt I could not just throw up an exhibit after reading such great books, which shed much light on this subject and the ongoing subject of racism and slavery in America...It ain't over folks. I mean this is not the only reason, because I am reading other books as well that's expanding my scope.
In addition I have some other things on tap that I hope to explain in my next blog, so don't worry folks, no more string of Youtube videos for a while, ok?
Take care....CWATIC @ www.realquwwa.com
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