Learn about the history of slavery, involuntary servitude, and abolition in California and the United States.
“The Convict Lease System” Ida B. Wells
From Ida B. Wells 1893 “The Reason Why the Colored American is Not in the World’s Columbian Exposition,” this text describes the de facto system of forced labor—or slavery—instituted by southern states after the Civil War. A modified form of convict leasing still exists today in California and many other states.
“Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration by Race and Ethnicity” The Sentencing Project
Learn about the impact of incarceration on Black and Hispanic communities.
“The Prison Industry 2020” Worth Rises
Learn about the impact of the private prison industry on mass incarceration in various states, including California
In 1888, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who had escaped slavery in the South before the Civil War, visited Sout Carolina and Georgia and wrote of ingrained injustices he saw for Black Americans in a post-emancipation world.
Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay’s examination of the U.S. prison system examines how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America. This piercing, Oscar-nominated film won Best Documentary at the Emmys, the BAFTAs and the NAACP Image Awards.
A discussion of the way the 13th amendment has effectively continued the practice of slavery in America since the end of the Civil War.