April 27, 2012
“Slavery 400 years ago, slavery today. It’s the same, but with a new name. They’re practicing slavery under color of law,” writes Ruchell Cinque Magee. America’s history of prison labor began before slavery ended. After the Civil War, private companies leased prisoners and sold their products for profit. Laws criminalizing harmless activities dramatically increased the number of Blacks in Southern prisons. This set the pattern that today has the prison industry rated #6 of the top 10 fastest growing industries in the U.S.
August 9, 2010
In a region where nine out of 10 residents are white, the cleanup workers are almost exclusively Black men. NAACP President Ben Jealous wrote to BP CEO Tony Hayward demanding to know why Black people were over-represented in “the most physically difficult, lowest paying jobs, with the most significant exposure to toxins.”