EJI Calendar 5/12: No ethnic studies


I’m back to a photo of my calendar for today’s Equal Justice Initiative post because there’s not a corresponding entry online. I’m not sure why. The ban was passed in 2010 and seems to be in ongoing litigation.

Although Republicans present themselves as champions of local control, Republican legislators don’t hesitate to snatch it away when localities have different values.

EJI Calendar 5/11: Convict Leasing Begins in Georgia

May 11th, 1868

Convict Leasing Begins in Georgia

After the Civil War, Georgia and other Southern states faced economic uncertainty. Dependent on enslaved black labor that was no longer available after emancipation and ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, Southern economies struggled to find a new solution. For many, leasing state convicts to labor for private businesses seemed the perfect answer.

Source: Equal Justice Initiative

Although the 13th Amendment (scroll down) banned slavery in the US, it made an exception for prisoners. Today there is a whole “correctional industries” sector of the economy which is basically slavery and disproportionally affects people of color. All races are affected by depressed wages that can be attributed to jobs being done by enslaved prisoners.

EJI Calendar 5/10: South Carolina Passes Negro Act of 1740

Today I learned that the Equal Justice Initiative has an online version of the calendar that sent me. So, I’m dropping my calendar pictures.

May 10th, 1740

South Carolina Passes Negro Act of 1740

On May 10, 1740, the South Carolina Assembly enacted the “Bill for the better ordering and governing of Negroes and other slaves in this province,” also known as the Negro Act of 1740. The law prohibited slaves from growing their own food, learning to read, moving freely, assembling in groups, or earning money. It authorized slave owners to whip and kill rebellious slaves.

Source: Equal Justice Institute

You can read the full text of the 1740 Negro Act for yourself at South Carolina’s Teaching American History.


EJI Calendar 5/7

1955. In Belzoni, Mississippi, NAACP member Rev. George Lee is fatally shot after angering local whites when he attempted to register to vote.

People say that voting doesn’t matter. If it doesn’t why were white men willing to kill African-Americans wishing to vote? Why do so many state legislatures even now dream up new ways to prevent minority and poor citizens from voting?

Voting matters. Now anyone can register without being shot. Register. Vote. In primaries as well as general elections.

PS – Apologies for the blurry picture today.