Author(s): rse than slavery : Parchman Farm and the ordeal of Jim Crow justice By Oshinsky, David M
"Worse Than Slavery" is an epic historical past of race and punishment within the inner most South from emancipation to the civil rights generation – and past. Southern prisons were immortalized in convict paintings songs, within the blues, and in motion pictures equivalent to Cool Hand Luke and The Defiant Ones. Mississippi’s Parchman Penitentiary used to be the grandfather of all of them, an immense, remoted plantation with shotguns, whips, and bloodhounds, the place inmates labored the cotton fields in striped clothes from morning time to nightfall. William Faulkner described Parchman as "vacation spot doom." Its convicts integrated bluesmen like "Son" House and "Bukka" White, who featured the jail within the mythical "Midnight Special" and "Parchman Farm Blues."Noted historian David M. Oshinsky attracts on jail data, pardon recordsdata, folklore, oral historical past, and the blues to supply an unforgettable portrait of Parchman and Jim Crow justice – from the horrors of convict leasing within the past due 19th century to the fight for black equality within the 1960s, when Parchman used to be used to wreck the spirit of civil rights staff who journeyed south at the Freedom Rides. In Mississippi, the felony justice machine regularly proved that there may well be one thing worse than slavery. The "previous" Parchman is long gone, a casualty of federal courtroom orders within the 1970s. What it tells us about our previous is definitely value remembering in a country deeply divided through race.