Week Two

The “Slow Death and Slavery” readings  emphasize the ongoing mistreatment, persecution, and prejudice behavior towards the black community.This article also sheds light on the legal and political disconnection between the  U.S. law and the ever-changing black community. Throughout the article the reader comes to an understanding of who were the key players in facilitating positive change for the black community. Also one of the biggest takeaways from the readings is what systems and people in power used the weakness and misunderstanding of the black community for profit and political gain. 

Some of these acts and tactics still continue on to this day. White supremacists realized as more states began to abolish slavery and slave acts, they could no longer openly profit off of able black bodies.  So my research question is What institutions and practices are still in place that profit off of the black community, and also target the black community?  

To gather primary information to assess and contextualize my research question, I would start by using the many search engines on the internet. By using well accredited and respected databases I would be able to find information such as magazines, articles, newspapers etc. that are specific to my focus or research question.

As the researcher seeks to answer their question, he or she may reframe their question and process. By reframing your question it allows the researcher to look at the question or information from a different perspective. If the researcher finds compelling information that does not align with his or hers preconceived thoughts, it stops the person from focusing on the wrong “why”. Reframing your question stops the person from wasting time, it stops the person from searching for an answer that is not the right question to ask. 

The “freedman” and “freedwoman” to this day are continually used to create profit, and have built this country without any reparations. During the antebellum period Georgia was considered the new South. Before the removal slavery, Georgia and many other southern states relied heavily on slave labor for agriculture, and jobs that required hard labor. “In an effort to curtail black “lawlessness” and to obstruct the social, economic, and political mobility of the freedmen and women, state officials swiftly devised a plan to hire out “able-bodied” prisoners to pirate industries.” (LeFlouria pg. 53

 Black women and men were often the targets in this new “experiment” in Georgia. White supremacists used institutions to further profit off an already weakened community. Also police officers would target African American men and women for petty crimes / incidents. They would detain them for things such as; loitering, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, and more. “As the county jail swelled, thousands of misdemeanants were sent to work on chain gangs, while felons, now property of the state, were forced to work in private lease camps.” (LeFlouria pg.54

  To this day incarceration numbers have increased dramatically. It makes critics of the jail system wonder if people in power and elected officials back then knew, that if this system of incarceration continues it can be used for financial, social, and human capital gains. This article gives us a contextualized breakdown of the incarceration of the black community back then, and how it has transformed and impacted so many lives today.  

Materials that would have been very beneficial to solidifying my solution about my research question, is obtaining interviews from individuals during that era. So I can get more of a social breakdown of how it affected families and individuals during that time. Also it would be beneficial to have interviews from people in the government or position of power. To see if those people really knew what they were doing, and understand if they knew the impact it would have in today’s current climate.

My next step would be to continue to look for articles that would tie together the reason and justification for why society continues to mistreat the black community during that era. Also search for scholarly articles that contain information on why society back then was so comfortable with allowing this mistreatment to continue.

One thought on “Week Two

  1. I really like the role of continuity in your research question to draw comparisons between the past and the present. With a chapter title like “A slow death for slavery,” it absolutely implies that while the institution of slavery was slowly dismantled, there were other structures in place to oppress freedpeople. The consequences of those structures are certainly something that persist today. I particularly like how you frame this question using the term “profit.” It reminds me of a great book by Tiya Miles titled, _Tales from the Haunted South_ and discusses the paranormal tourism industry throughout the south that uses “ghost tours” of plantations and tells stories of enslaved spirits that “haunt” those places. As Miles argues, these ghost tours are an example of the type of modern “profiting” from enslaved people that is extremely problematic. It’s such a good book and not very long– highly recommend it!!

    Additionally, I think your method to answer this research question is well-grounded. The article you linked concerning incarceration is particularly relevant and draws distinct connections between the past and present.

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