Prison records from 1800s Georgia show mass incarceration’s racially charged beginnings

A Georgia penitentiary in 1911. Library of Congress   Henry Minter was working as a farm laborer in Georgia in the 1870s when he met Mary Dotson, a young black servant girl. The couple never married – which would have been illegal at the time – but they stayed together until Henry’s death. Mary, who was left with […]

Zora Neale Hurston’s Lost Interview With One of Amerikkka’s Last Living Slave

The Last Slave In 1931, Zora Neale Hurston sought to publish the story of Cudjo Lewis, the final slave-ship survivor. Instead it languished in a vault. Until now Their Eyes Were Watching God is required reading in high schools and colleges and cited as a formative influence by Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou. It’s been canonized […]

Taking Freedom: Modern-Day Slavery in Amerika’s Prison Workforce

  by BETH SCHWARTZAPFEL Proponents of prisoners’ and workers’ rights point to a push by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, to “improve and expand federal prison industries” in several states. Known for its “model laws” crafted in partnership between extreme right-wing legislators and powerful corporations, ALEC drafted the 1995 Texas Prison Industries Act, which […]

A Database of Fugitive Slave Ads Reveals Thousands of Untold Resistance Stories

Freedom on the Move from Cornell University is the first major digital database of fugitive slave ads from North America. Advertisement for a fugitive slave in the Oppenheim (New York, 1824), Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, New York Public Library Readers of the May 24, 1796 Pennsylvania Gazette found […]

Revolution and Black Struggle: Marxism as a Weapon Against Racism and Capitalism

by Marcello Pablito Racism, Capitalism, and Slavery In his most important work, Marx states that “Labour in a white skin cannot emancipate itself where it is branded in a black skin.”1 Despite attempts by political and intellectual groups to deny Marx and Engels’ (and, by extension, revolutionary Marxism’s) uncompromising stance against racism, the founders of scientific […]

In the Matrix: Which one are you?

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Mass Racial Incarceration for Profit

African slaves held in bondage and tortured in the United States by Abayomi Azikiwe This article is transcription from a lecture, which Abayomi Azikiwe delivered at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit, Michigan on Sunday 18 February 2018. Abayomi Azikiwe presented the message for the day on the history and contemporary significance of mass incarceration […]

York Explored the West With Lewis and Clark, But His Freedom Wouldn’t Come Until Decades Later

  A statue of York with Lewis and Clark in Great Falls, Montana. (Andre Jenny / Alamy Stock Photo) By Shoshi Parks Then again, York didn’t have a say in the matter. Though he had grown up side-by-side with William Clark—future leader of the first-known expedition to travel over land from the Eastern seaboard to the Pacific […]

Mass incarceration for profit: The dual impact of the 13th Amendment and the unresolved question of national oppression in the United States

African Americans remain the targets of a system of institutional racism and super-exploitation by Abayomi Azikiwe As the United States faces profound challenges in the areas of race relations, class exploitation, the rights of immigrants, women and other marginalized groups, the threat of world war and other potential calamities, it is of utmost necessity that those […]