The New Slaves: African-American Inmates

The impactful yet ignored acts of racism that are endured by all Americans has been influenced by slavery. Snarky comments, and distasteful looks are mentally dangerous to all but are especially harmful to Blacks. After centuries of bondage and genocide, African – Americans along with the rest of America believed the country was free from slavery 1865 when Lincoln abolished slavery many people especially African-Americans, believed the country was free from slavery. We forgotten that slavery never ended.

The Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” This statement is often misunderstood. It essentially means that slavery IS acceptable under imprisonment as a punishment for a criminal act. Initially, one might believe that this type of mistreatment is acceptable for criminals. On the other hand, the term “criminal”, is an artificially sweeping term covered by many convicts as well as the crimes they have committed. Also the amendments do not specify whether high or low level crimes have to subjected these types of punishments. The fact that the amount of Black people imprisoned today is larger than the amount of slaves living in servitude in 1850 is the most scariest fact to date.

Some people may say the abolishment slavery, as we once knew, was a period to get excited about. However, I am sympathetic to those who have endured similar punishments in jail. In my opinion, I believe forcing people to endure slavery or involuntarily servitude is destructive and criminal. More importantly, jail is a bigger home to Black people than the land they were forced to live on. Or how is it that Black people make up twelve to thirteen percent of the population in America, yet make up their five percent of jail inmates? Numbers such as these left me in a state of surprise due to the inequality in the criminal justice system. Continuous separation among the black community leaves children without father’s most often, and creates an irreversible challenge between child and parent. The culmination of slavery has been repackaged into new forms that include police brutality, the immigration and customs enforcement and the destruction of minority families. Despite these metrics about Black people and the criminal justice system, we should be aware that slavery has continued in the jail system and beyond.

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L is a Cowboy Bebop lover who has a stimulating passion for writing. She enjoys eating, reading and listening to Lo-fi Hip Hop. At school she edits for her school's online magazine, and volunteers. She hopes to pursue a career in writing as an author.

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