Pulitzer Prize winner Douglas A. Blackmon started off small in Leland Mississippi, publishing his first story to his local newspaper at age 12. Later on in life he attended college at Hendrix University where he got his degrees in English. Throughout life his career has been mainly focused on the history of race and human rights. Blackmon has worked in a variety of places though out his career such as the Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Wall Street Journal, and in 2011 he joined the Washington Post.
Blackmon had helped human rights movement by using his journalism and books to help bring certain issues to the public. His journalism has covered a variety of things from Barack Obama election to the BP oil spill. His journalism started when he was a child looking into the integration of children in schools. This is what sparked the interest in human rights as a child for Blackmon and has led to many, many more investigations and put a jump start to his long term career. ...view middle of the document...
In slavery by another name Blackmon walks reader though a shameful and rarely talked about part of America’s history. During the time Blackmon was a reporter for the wall street journal who looked into the life of Green Cottenham, a black man born from two slaves who was arrested for “Vagrancy”. He was eventually brought to a coal mine where he supposedly died from falling rocks. The coal mine was a work camp that blacks would be sent to work during their sentence. The treatment of the workers was parallel to that of how slaves were treated. The camps were legal thanks to loopholes found after slavery was outlaws. They could force the blacks into labor as they had been found guilty in court. The Work camps were like a jail for them; however the treatment of the workers was not necessarily legal. But not many knew what happened within the camps which allowed this treatment to continue.
Reviews of this work seems to be all good however Teresa Weaver, a critic from Atlanta Magazine mentions “At times, the onslaught of details is almost dizzying,”( Atlanta Magazine, April 2008) but does add that it is just a minor issues in such a well-constructed book. Harper Barnes, from St. Louis Post-Dispatch, describes it as “formidably researched, powerfully written, and wrenchingly detailed”.( St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 2008) So while some find his work almost disterburing as it is over a horrid era of history, they do all agree it is a wonderfully written and have few complaints aside from almost too much detail.
This book could fall into either category of Litterateur or propaganda. This book was used to raise awareness to a certain issues, neo slavery, and was definitely used as propaganda. But it does not take away from the literary part of this book. It is well constructed and interesting which to me gives it a literary sense as well.
Douglas A. Blackmon is a man that has dedicated his life to human rights. From his human rights journalist work to his literatecher he has worked hard to make certain issues known to the public. People like me would not have known about neo slavery if not for his book Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (Douglas Blackmon, 2008) and others like it. Blackmon has truly helped the human rights movement in certain ways.