Tag: prisons

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Prison Strike, Prison Slavery

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On August 30, 2018
I have a piece in the New York Times on the prison strike and the historical context of white coercion of black labor that has never ended. The Civil War may have ended chattel slavery, but the 13th Amendment had a fatal flaw, allowing for an exception from free labor for the incarcerated. Almost immediately, […]

Slavery, Post-1865

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On August 14, 2018

One of the biggest weaknesses of any constitutional amendment is that of the 13th Amendment, allowing for unpaid labor by prisoners. Whether its writers thought through the potential repercussions of

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This sure isn’t alarming at all….. Suppose you wanted to do a study of diet and nutrition, with thousands of participants randomly assigned to follow one meal plan or another for years as their health was monitored? In the real world, studies like these are nearly impossible. That’s why there remain so many unanswered questions […]
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Reading in a Texas Prison

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On August 22, 2017
Let’s say you are in prison in Texas. The list of available books for you to read is evidently intended not only to reflect but also to produce racial inequality and violence. Slater noted that the TDCJ book bans often seem arbitrary. The department has banned many nonfiction books dealing with prison rape, he writes, […]
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Texas Prison Museum

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On May 3, 2016
When I lived in Texas, I kept wondering if I should go to the Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville. It was both horrifying and fascinating at the same time. Why would someone go see an electric chair in a prison largely dedicated to celebrating law enforcement? But maybe the answer is that I would go […]
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