In graphic and truthful detail, Slavery by Another Name reveals the widespread use of bonded labor after the Civil War and how this amounted to a new form of slavery that incorporated many of the same inhuman conditions of brutal confinement like shackles, whippings, hog-tying and water torture.
Under laws specifically aimed at Black people, tens of thousands were arbitrarily arrested for things like loitering and vagrancy or standing in the street, hit with outrageous fines and charged with the costs of their own arrests. Prisoners with no means to pay these "debts" were sold as forced laborers to owners of coal mines, lumber camps, farm plantations, etc. But they never could pay their "debts" so they remained enslaved, sometimes for the rest of their lives. All this was part of the Jim Crow laws and a whole system of legal segregation in the south.
Today Black people are still oppressed, with police murdering Blacks with impunity. There are more Black men in prison today than there were enslaved in 1850. This film can give a deeper understanding of the actual history of this country and the terrible consequences of this by bringing out how slavery continued in new forms after 1865 while the oppression of Black people continues in other forms up to the present day. Knowing this history is part of understanding why these chains of oppression can never be broken under this system of capitalism and why it will take an actual revolution to do away with this oppression.