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Slaves of the State: Black Women and Prison Labor in the Post-Civil War South

A lecture by Talitha L. LeFlouria, the Lisa Smith Discovery Associate Professor in African and African American Studies at the University of Virginia.

LeFlouria is the author of Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South; winner of the Philip Taft Labor History Award from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Labor and Working-Class History Association (2016); the Best First Book Prize from the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders and Sexualities (2015); the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize from the Association of Black Women Historians (2015); and others. LeFlouria’s talk will examine the rise of the convict labor system in the South after the Civil War and, especially, the role of Black female convict labor in the creation of Henry Grady’s much touted “New South” between the 1870s and the 1920s.

To learn more and register, visit the Center for Historical Research (CHR) website. Registration links will be posted on the CHR calendar within six weeks of the event.

If you have questions or require an accommodation such as live captioning or interpretation to participate in this event, please indicate contact CHR Director John Brooke. Requests made 10 days prior to the event will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.


About the 1619 and Beyond Program: In late August 1619 “twenty and odd” Angolans were brought from the West Indies to the Chesapeake Bay on the ship White Lion. Some of these individuals were sold into slavery at Jamestown. 2019 marked the quadricentennial of this arrival of Africans in British North America and the start of a trans-Atlantic slave trade that would continue (legally and illegally) until the Civil War, with profound legacies running to the present.

During this, the second year of our lecture series, The Ohio State University will move from last year’s focus on the slavery era to a year-long program examining the legacies of slavery in American and African American life from the post-emancipation period (after the Civil War) to the present time. This year, the series will feature invited lectures by eminent scholars of the Jim Crow Era, the Modern Civil Rights Movement/Era, and the contemporary issues that continue to reflect a need to address the legacies of centuries of legal, race-based enslavement, segregation and discrimination. The program will also offer film screenings, seminars and Slavery Roundtables. The departments urge students to participate in these events and to take courses dedicated to the history of slavery.

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