News & Analysis of Economic, Racial, Gender Justice and More

FEATURING ERIN HATTON  –  The National Archives recently announced it had found an original hand-written military order dated June 19th, 1865 that read, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, ‘all slaves are free.’” It went on to state, “This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.” The order’s date marking freedom for enslaved people went on to be remembered as Juneteenth.

And while slavery has been dead for more than a century, many argue the hallmarks of the deadly institution are still alive – through prison labor and our system of mass incarceration.

Erin Hatton is an associate professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her research is centered in the sociology of work, while also extending into the fields of race and gender, social inequality, culture, labor, law, and social policy. She is author of Coerced: Work Under Threat of Punishment.

** This segment was originally broadcast on June 19, 2020.

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