Directed by Sam Pollard, produced by Catherine Allan and Douglas Blackmon, written by Sheila Curran Bernard,  the tpt National Productions project is based on the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Blackmon. Slavery by Another Name challenges one of our country’s most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery ended with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The documentary recounts how in the years following the Civil War, insidious new forms of forced labor emerged in the American South, keeping hundreds of thousands of African Americans in bondage, trapping them in a brutal system that would persist until the onset of World War II.

Based on Blackmon’s research, Slavery by Another Name spans eight decades, from 1865 to 1945, revealing the interlocking forces in both the South and the North that enabled this “neoslavery” to begin and persist.  Using archival photographs and dramatic re-enactments filmed on location in Alabama and Georgia, it tells the forgotten stories of both victims and perpetrators of neoslavery and includes interviews with their descendants living today.  The program also features interviews with Douglas Blackmon and with leading scholars of this period. Major funding for Slavery by Another Name is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company and the CPB/PBS Diversity and Innovation Fund. PBS broadcast is targeted for early 2012.

Continue reading:  http://www.slaverybyanothername.com/pbs-film/

Watch the entire documentary and “Making of” special:  http://www.pbs.org/tpt/slavery-by-another-name/watch/

3 thoughts on “Slavery by Another Name (PBS film documentary)

  1. I certainly hope they’re not presenting this as if we were unaware. Even our education system, as poor as it is, touches on the Reconstructive Period; and the effects therein.


    • I can’t speak for the producers’ motivations, but I’m not convinced Americans are all that knowledgeable about the depth of institutional racism that occurred during the Jim Crow era. For me personally, the discussion of “peonage” was quite revealing as was the involvement of the Theodore Roosevelt administration in “convict labor” criminal prosecutions. I also thought the documentary’s linkage of victims to their modern descendants was especially poignant.


      • Fair enough! I’ll refrain from passing further judgment until after I watch the documentary. I guess I forget that there are many oblivious people out there (we didn’t all pay attention in school). 🙂


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