Slavery By Another Name

By Sheila Curran Bernard (Writer), based on the book by Douglas A. Blackmon 
Executive producer Catherine Allan; co-executive producer Douglas A. Blackmon; produced and directed by Sam Pollard. PBS, 2012

Slavery by Another Name is a ninety-minute documentary that challenges the popular belief that slavery in the United States ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. Based on the 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas A. Blackmon, the film, produced by tpt National Productions and Two Dollars and A Dream, tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South in 1865, thousands of African  Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality. It was a system in which individuals, often guilty of no crime at all, were arrested, compelled to work without pay, repeatedly bought and sold, and coerced to do the bidding of overseers. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the twentieth century, until 1945.

Narrated by acclaimed actor Laurence Fishburne, Slavery by Another Name gives voice to the largely forgotten victims and perpetrators of forced labor and features their descendants living today. The program also includes interviews with Douglas A. Blackmon and scholars of this period, including Mary Ellen Curtin, Pete Daniel, Risa Goluboff, Adam Green, and Khalil Muhammad. 

Major funding for Slavery by Another Name was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, and the CPB/PBS Diversity and Innovation Fund. Additional funding was provided by Georgia-Pacific, KeyBank Foundation, and Merck; and by the omicron Member Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Minneapolis; the General Mills Foundation; and Frances Wilkinson.