The information presented here is powerful, moving, and not well enough known. I would have liked more perspective about things such as the total number of black vs. white convicts, the total black population in areas under discussion, and so on. Still, the story is well told and hard to forget. The reader is okay, though he has a number of vocal ticks that increasingly grate (esp. a sort of Clintonesque yawn/purr, the sound equivalent of tilting your head). Also, someone should have prevented his comic pronunciation of Dubois (which he reads like Blanche Dubois) and Tuskegee.
I expected this book to rehash the well-known civil rights abuses that took place between the abolition of slavery and the Civil Rights Movements a hundred years later, but in fact it did so much more than that: it taught me things about US history and slave history in the US which I had never known.
It's a terrible, intimate portrait of one family and the economic and political situation which encompassed them in a whirlwind of oppression. Set against the backdrop of their lives and struggles, the book meticulously documents how slavery continued "underground" after emancipation on a vast, all-encompassing scale through the various machinations of the US legal and corporate systems, protected at every level under the broad umbrella of "progress", how the North turned a blind eye, and on and on.
At its heart this is a very important, overlooked part of American history whose legacy continues through the present day; it was this post-bellum period which sowed the seeds of contemporary race politics and relations in the US more even than slavery itself. It created a blueprint for future generations of white men for how they can keep men (especially) of color on their knees even beyond the Civil Rights Movement, with full protection of the the legal system and corporate America. This is the post-emancipation history we never learned in school.
Although not intended as such, this book is an excellent prequel to The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, which views the mass incarceration of black men as an extension of Jim Crow laws in modern "color-blind" America.
There are some very memorable moments, but what really counts is learning about the situation of blacks in America from the end of the Civil War until World War II and after. This was a part of US history I had not known and it changed my view not only of African Americans but of the country as a whole.
No, but he is excellent.
Yes, it sure did. I am still reeling.
I cannot recommend this book too strongly. Anybody who lives in the US or has anything to do with the US (which is just about everyone in the world) must read this to have a better understanding of the country, its evolution, and its people. Foreigners not well acquainted with American history, however, must not imagine that this is all there is to it: there is much in that extraordinary story that people from other cultures cannot imagine, though this book recounts a very important and little known chapter.
No. It's not entertaining. The stories are seared into one's memory.
No favorite character
Suntrust revealing to its employees that the Bank's starting equity was largely the result of massive profits from slave labor well into the 1900s.
Same as book
Shocking. Powerful. Insightful. Must Listen American History
I had no idea how horribly blacks were treated post civil war, and the reason why it finally ended, it wasn't because it was the right thing to do. It's simply shameful!
This book!!! When I began listening to this book I had no idea what I was getting into. I am stunned. The contents shocked and horrified me. Once again, I feel shame caused by our white forefathers; Indians, African Americans,Jewish and Irish have be killed by white mans corruption, greed, brutality ..... downright sadism. By learning of the brutalization of the African-Americans, I feel angry and cheated by the shameful secrets kept from American students. As a child, I loved history. Now thanks to Douglas Blackmons incredible research, I realize we school children of the 40's and 50's, and our parents before us, were told a dismissive, shallow and incorrect version of the era of slavery. How I wish we could have learned the truth Blackmon has unearthed.
I am a psychotherapist. I believe in intergenerational trauma. The knowledge of the generations of trauma African American of today carry, helps me to understand where some of the bitterness and hatred acted out on people of light skin comes from...... why Caucasian police are held in such contempt. It's not an excuse but it is a partial explanation.
My life has been forever changed by this book. The words, the passionate words, have left a mark of not only wisdom but compassion, mercy and grace. Thank you Douglas Blackmon. You have given our culture a priceless gift.
This Audible book filled in the blanks of why many blacks are so angry and hostile to whites today and demand reparations. Truth and reconciliation has helped defuse bitterness with those companies willing to confront their previous incarnations gross brutalities.
This Beas excellent, well-researched history, that was personally depressing, but history that every American, particularly white Americ and need to know. The book lays bar the cognitive dissonance concerning the Jim Crow era in the South and the racial attitudes that pervaded the United States and, given recent racially charged incidents, still exist. It certainly gave me a different perspective on the curs of slavery that still affects the United States. I believe tha some people will begin to read the book and then put it down because their biases are to strong. Others will press on with it and perhaps become better persons.
I found this material so enlightening and painful as a person who grew up near many of the places in Alabama that are mentioned. Had no idea how horribly the victims were treated, nor about the money that was so heartlessly made as a result of their misery. For those who wonder why race relations are as they are in America, please read this book and put yourselves in the shoes of those brutalized men and women. It can hurt to hear about these issues, but we haven't heard this side in schools or most anywhere else. Douglas A. Blackmon has done an amazing job.