Slavery As a Form of Racialized Social Control
Hello and welcome to Lesson 3 of the Teach Tolerance Lesson Plan for the New Jim Crow. Michelle Alexander was inspired to write The New Jim Crow while working as a civil rights lawyer at the ACLU, and you can read her interview with Teaching Tolerance : A Conversation with Michelle Alexander . Teach Tolerance’s mission is to Discover and develop world-class materials with a community of educators committed to diversity, equity and justice.
” It may be impossible to overstate the significance of race in defining the basic structure of American society “
Each lesson will focus on a particular chapter and will be guided by essential questions, and that the book itself has three overarching essentials questions ..
- How does the U.S. criminal justice system create and maintain racial hierarchy though mass incarceration?
- How does the current system of mass incarceration in the United States mirror earlier systems of racialized social control?
- What is needed to end mass incarceration and permanently eliminate racial caste in the United States?
Throughout its history, the United States has been structured by a racial caste system. From slavery, to Jim Crow to mass incarceration, these forms of racialized social control reinvented themselves to meet the needs of the dominant social class according to the constraints of each era.
- How did slavery function as a mechanism of racialized social control?
- How did racial hierarchy adapt and persist after Emancipation?
Tier II & III Vocabulary
- Amnesty – the act of an authority (such as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals.
- Antebellum – existing before a war; especially existing before the American Civil War.
- Bondsmen – slaves
- Chattle Slavery – The condition in which one person is owned as property by another and is under the owner’s control, especially in involuntary servitude.
- Emancipation – an act of setting someone free from control or slavery.
- Enslavement – the action of making someone a slave; subjugation.
- Federalism – the division of power between the states and the federal government.
- Indentured Servant –
- Insurrection – an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government.
- Oppression – unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power.
- Plantation – an estate on which crops such as coffee, sugar, and tobacco are cultivated by resident labor.
- Reconstruction Era – refers to the period following the Civil War of rebuilding the United States. Restored the seceded states back to the Union. Three amendments approved: 13, 14, and 15 amendment
- Segregation – the action or state of setting someone or something apart from other people or things or being set apart.
Exercise 1. Video; Based on Douglas A. Blackmon’s book by the same name, this documentary tells the forgotten history of forced labor and brutality that continued after the Civil War and the end of chattel slavery. The entire documentary, as well as the accompanying educational materials and resources, are available online.
Pollard, Sam, Sheila Curran Bernard, Laurence Fishburne, Jason L. Pollard, Andrew Young, Michael Bacon, and Douglas A. Blackmon. Slavery by Another Name. DVD. Directed by Sam Pollard. Boston: PBS Distribution, 2012. http://www.pbs.org/tpt/slavery-by-another-name/home/.
Exercise 2. Before we get started or into the guided reading consider the last two lessons and our last guided reading. In your head , or if you want to write it down and later participate in the comments – complete the following prompts “Something I know … ,” “Something I believe … ” and “Something I wonder … ” about each of the following (totaling nine responses):