Moyers Moments

Douglas Blackmon on The Slaves Who Paved Atlanta

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For decades after the Emancipation Proclamation, under laws enacted specifically to intimidate blacks, tens of thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily arrested, hit with outrageous fines, and charged for the costs of their own arrests. With no means to pay these ostensible “debts,” prisoners were sold as forced laborers to coal mines, brickyards, railroads, farm plantations, and other workplaces.

In this 2008 “Moyers Moment” from Bill Moyers Journal, Douglas Blackmon, author of Slavery By Another Name, tells the story of the “neo-slaves” who made the bricks that pave the streets of downtown Atlanta to this day.

Watch the full conversation between Bill Moyers and Douglas Blackmon.

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