This video illustrates how slavery led directly to today’s mass imprisonment of black Americans
A new video paints slavery in the stark terms in which it existed – but is not always described – for hundreds of years in in the United States.
The video, produced by the advocacy group Equal Justice Initiative, illustrates the history of American slavery – “a permanent hereditary system central tied to race” – through Jim Crow discrimination and more recent injustices that are the legacy of that dark past.
It lays out the atrocities of the slave trade, which continued through the Civil War – and persisted afterward as punishment for black Americans accused of crimes.
Black Americans are routinely presumed guilty, an inversion of one of the constitution’s foundational principles, and imprisoned at a higher rate than whites, even for the same crimes, and police are far more likely to use violence against black suspects.
Those injustices are all directly linked to the original sin of slavery, the advocacy group says, and must be acknowledged and addressed.
Watch the entire video posted online by Equal Justice Initiative: