Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

Slavery in the United States

July 03, 1996
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

Topics

"GENTLEMEN, as I can not read or write I got a friend to write this. I never went to school in my life. I worked on this man’s farm all my life, I didn’t get a cent for my labor until I run away. I am 35 years old, all we Negroes got to eat was corn bread and bacon and few clothes and forced to live 10-12 in a room. His overseers carried sticks and whips and guns. They whipped children and women and men. They would make men and women strip their clothes down and get on their knees and some time tie them to a place and whip them from 25 to 100 lashes at a time. You dare not ask for money or anything else. The overseers seduced any young girls they wanted and parents could not help them I would send my name but I don’t want to go back to this farm. I did never commit a crime." This letter, from Omaha Nebraska, is dated October 8th, 1923. Washington Post freelance journalist Len Cooper who joins us now found it among many others in the Library of Congress as he dug to find the truth behind stories his grandfather told about how slavery did not end with the Civil War, but persisted in the U.S. into the 20th century. It’s a secret history you won’t find in American textbooks, but remains buried into the memory of African Americans in the South and hidden in the Library of Congress.

GUEST: LEN COOPER


The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.