• E-Books
  • Office of Scholarly Publishing
  • Latest Catalogs
  • Books for Courses
  • Exhibits Listing
  • View Cart

About the Book

Beyond the Book

280 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 8 halftones, 5 tables, notes, bibl., index

Justice, Power, and Politics

Paper
ISBN  978-1-4696-3000-7
Published: March 2016

Chained in Silence

Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South

By Talitha L. LeFlouria


Awards & Distinctions

2015 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize, Association of Black Women Historians

Ida B. Wells Tribute Award, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

2016 Darlene Clark Hine Award, Organization of American Historians

2016 Philip Taft Labor History Award, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations / Labor and Working-Class History Association

2016 Malcolm Bell, Jr. and Muriel Barrow Bell Award, Georgia Historical Society

2015 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians' Book Prize

In 1868, the state of Georgia began to make its rapidly growing population of prisoners available for hire. The resulting convict leasing system ensnared not only men but also African American women, who were forced to labor in camps and factories to make profits for private investors. In this vivid work of history, Talitha L. LeFlouria draws from a rich array of primary sources to piece together the stories of these women, recounting what they endured in Georgia's prison system and what their labor accomplished. LeFlouria argues that African American women's presence within the convict lease and chain-gang systems of Georgia helped to modernize the South by creating a new and dynamic set of skills for black women. At the same time, female inmates struggled to resist physical and sexual exploitation and to preserve their human dignity within a hostile climate of terror. This revealing history redefines the social context of black women’s lives and labor in the New South and allows their stories to be told for the first time.

About the Author

Talitha L. LeFlouria is associate professor of African American studies in the Carter G. Woodson Institute, University of Virginia. Her research was featured in the documentary Slavery by Another Name, based on Douglas A. Blackmon's Pulitzer Prize-winning book.


Reviews

“Highly recommended.”
--Choice

“An indispensable reference point.”
--Journal of Southern History

“A deeply researched and carefully crafted mouthpiece for black female convict laborers.”
--American Historical Review

“A meticulously researched, and immensely illustrative record of the understudied labor efforts made by thousands of black female convicts in the post-Civil War South.”
--Punishment and Society

“A well-written, accessible, provocative study of black women’s lives in Georgia’s convict-labor system at the dawn on the New South. . . . Surely one of the best books out on southern women’s history in years.”
--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

“Painstakingly researched, beautifully written, and certain to become a classic in the literature on labor, race and the criminal justice system, as well as black women’s history.”
--Social Service Review



© 2015 The University of North Carolina Press
116 South Boundary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-3808
How to Order | Make a Gift | Privacy
1.7.5