NAACP Economic Department Attends Slavery by Another Name Film Screening

Last week, the NAACP’s Economic Department were invited guests at the screening of PBS’s latest documentary, Slavery by Another Name, at the historic Ford’s theatre in Washington, DC as a part of the inauguration celebration for the new Ford’s Theater Center for Education and Leadership. Countless acclaimed guests were in attendance including the author of the book, Slavery by Another Name, Douglas A. Blackmon; the producer and director of the film, Sam Pollard; U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, to name a few.

Slavery by Another Name debunks the myth that slavery in America ended with Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation by highlighting the economic marginalization of blacks Americans through the neoslavery system. Contrary to popular beliefs, the decades following the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation were not comprised of the freedom that Blacks in America were promised. Unbeknownst to most, those decades continued to be plagued with the same systemic and often times, more brutal oppression of Black Americans particularly in the south. Through the creation of the neoslavery system, including various economic institutions such as convict leasing, share cropping, and other peonage methods, whites coerced African Americans back into forced labor with no pay and destitute living conditions. Doug Blackman states, “These institutions poured millions of dollars into southern government treasuries and became a key instrument in the terrorization of African Americans seeking full participation in the U.S. political system.”

The documentary features various descendants of the perpetrators and victims of the neoslavery system, lending them a voice with which we, as well as future generations, can be better informed of their legacy and their struggles.  Slavery by Another Name premieres on PBS February 13th, 2012 at 9pm and will also be available online for free at  Make sure to catch the narratives and the truth behind Black Americans adverse journey towards economic and social freedom.

Isabel Lorenzo is currently a junior at Howard University where she is majoring in Economics.